Soon: Alerts to shoppers based on tracking of their shopping pattern at mall

Orchard Road mall 313@somerset could soon roll out an option for shoppers to receive personalised deals - based on individual shopping patterns - on their phones. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Orchard Road mall 313@somerset could soon roll out an option for shoppers to receive personalised deals - based on individual shopping patterns - on their phones. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - Shoppers could be getting phone alerts for deals they are interested in based on their shopping patterns at 313@somerset mall in the near future.

Personalised deals - such as discounts for specific types of shirts and dresses - could be sent to shoppers by coupling users' personal details, such as age, with collected data such as which stores they visit, how long they stay in the shops and how often they visit the retailers.

This tracking will be done through the mall's existing shopping app, Tring 313. But mall manager Lend Lease said at a media briefing on Tuesday in the shopping centre that there are no firm plans on when this feature of the app will be released.

While this kind of tracking might raise privacy concerns and creep out some consumers, Lend Lease assured that it was for users to opt in for it.

For instance, consumers could be asked upfront if they want to be tracked after downloading or updating the app. The data collection involves a blue-tooth technology that uses small "beacons" which can be about the size of a 50 cent coin or a computer mouse. Such beacons can be installed in stores and common areas in the mall.

Mobile gadgets with the Tring app and blue-tooth switched on can push a notification for a deal saved within the app when a user comes close to a beacon in a store or the mall.

The range for this to happen can vary from a few metres to about 30m.

An ongoing trial for the technology, which began in March, has tested this deal triggering feature, but not the tracking and shopper analysis aspects of the app. At least four retailers have been involved in the trial. They incluide lifestyle retailer Muji, as well as food and beverage outlet The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Ms Cheryl Goh, general manager of 313@somerset, said that the idea behind the tests came "with the acknowledgement of Singapore's increasingly technology-savvy society and highly digital landscape, where smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices serve as platforms for access to news, social feeds, information (and more)".

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