New NFC? PowaTag launches for smart commerce


Hundreds of retailers and brands adopt the technology to revolutionise their businesses

Mobile smart shopping technology, PowaTag, has launched today to enable shoppers to make purchases from adverts shown anywhere using their smartphones.

PowaTag, the new retail enablement service from Powa Technologies, combines capabilities including instant mobile commerce and Bluetooth geolocation to provide purchasing freedom and consumer engagement.

Picking up in the space left by near field communication (NFC) hype, PowaTag has over 240 worldwide brands signed up at launch, including Universal Music and Carrefour.

The hybrid technology, a combination of PowaTag Beacon and PowaTag Transact, turns an impulse into a purchase, allowing consumers to walk up to an item, billboard, screen advert or retail display and purchase the promoted product with a touch of their smartphone screen.

Additionally, the technology is not limited to visual media; it works by utilising the visual, audio and other sensors now shipped as standard on smartphones so users can also buy straight from television and radio adverts, or PA announcements at events using the PowaTag app and a couple of swift, secure and convenient actions.

PowaTag also allows physical locations to be transformed into data-rich browsing environments by interacting with strategically placed low energy Bluetooth beacons. Shoppers can receive messages containing, for example, special offers as they approach any PowaTag Beacon-enabled location.

Universal's e-commerce director, Stephen Partridge, commented: 'PowaTag will transform the way fans access and purchase music and merchandise from their favourite artists, both online and in the real world. We are excited by PowaTag's instant purchase capabilities and the potential it has to open up additional revenue streams for up and coming and established artists.'

In addition, retailers will know a participating customer's shopping habits and personal preferences are as soon as they walk through the door, while they also gain detail about a purchase made anywhere with PowaTag including physical location and powerful analytics toolkits.

Thierry Pelissier, Carrefour's vice president of marketing, noted: 'Powatag will help Carrefour to measure the ROI of all our marketing campaigns (TV, print, online), real time, and fulfil our customers expectations with more efficiency. Among its various capabilities, Powatag will allow Carrefour to provide its customers with a fluid shopping experience, to buy online or access to more product information.'

Speaking at the worldwide launch of PowaTag at New York's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, retail technology entrepreneur, ecommerce veteran and CEO of Powa Technologies Dan Wagner, explained the vision behind his revolutionary technology: 'The retail sector is being forced to respond to growing market pressures from customers wanting greater levels of control and freedom of access and choice on how they purchase goods. Retailers can no longer afford to think in terms of online verses offline; they must seriously rethink how they connect in-store and online strategies to provide the agility and innovation needed to enable customers to buy whenever and wherever they may be, when they are at that critical buying decision moment.

'Our hybrid combination of technologies which include Bluetooth beacons, instant payment authentication and mobility enable retailers to have a richer engagement with their customers and understand their needs and cater for them in a more focused way. Consumers also benefit from having a vastly improved shopping experience.'

'We believe that PowaTag is the future of true multi-channel advertising as well as retail,' added Wagner. 'It enables merchants and businesses to collect smart data about their customers, products and promotions and finally be able to quantify exactly how successful an advertising campaign has been. It allows marketers to develop their campaigns and extend the reach of point of sale across any traditional and non-traditional advertising channels.'

PowaTag is also offering its services to charities free of charge and has been successful in signing up over 35 of the world's largest charitable organisations. The service's audio capabilities mean that users can donate to TV and radio appeals instantly, enabling charities to vastly increase the amount of donations they receive, especially as there are no handling fees.

Powa Technologies raised $96.7 million, the largest Series A funding round achieved by a technology startup during 2013, for PowaTag. PowaTag has opened offices in 14 different countries to meet demand.


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