Some companies that launch at Demo create new categories, and others redefine existing models.
But in my mind the latter is often much more important than the former.
ShelfBucks, which won a DemoGod award at Demo 2013 for its electronic couponing and digital signage applications makes my point. This Austin-based startup isn’t the first or second company in this space, but its consumer-facing and back-end brand management technologies are advanced enough to force supermarket chains and their electronic signage/couponing partners to play a fast-paced game of catchup.
ShelfBucks is an opt-in application for Smartphones.Supermarkets that support the new application install electronic devices on their shelves. As a consumer comes in range of the transmitters, they are presented with electronic coupons for groceries or other items. Like most electronic couponing smartphone applications, the capability to suggest related items is also supported with ShelfBucks.
What is most impressive about this new application is an underlying software platform that allows brands to create and implement ad hoc marketing platforms that can be adapted for specific demographic markets or individual retail locations. Moreover, Shelfbucks also supplies store, product,or brand managers with the basic tools they need to analyze and act on sales trends.
Its ShelfBucks platform that makes it unique. Other startups in this space have focused on providing consumer smartphone apps Shelfbucks goes much farther by providing tools retail chains,and brand managers can use to quickly create marketing campaigns and mine sales information for emerging trends.
Electronic couponing is an important element in consumer loyalty. In fact it’s become so important that many consumers will only shop at chains that support this technology.”People get addicted to discounts and when the discounts go away the customers go away,” Notes Tomas Murphy, an editor who writes about digital signage and electronic couponing for UBM Media in San Francisco.
Kroger, Safeway, and some WalMart locations are examples of chains that currently support electronic couponing on Smartphone equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC transceivers).
But, some obstacles remain in the way of further adoption. high on the list is the current feud between retailers and credit card companies over fees.
ShelfBucks recently raised approximately $1 million in its first round of financing and is now negotiating to get supermarket chains and product suppliers to adopt its technologies.--Jim “I saved $15 on my 15-pound Holiday Turkey Dinner using smartphone electronic couponing” Forbes on 12/01/2013.