Development of a Retail App with GPS and AR Functionality
The Customer is an Australian company specializing in IT solutions for the retail industry.
The Customer was impressed by the statistics that shows how much time drivers spend trying to find a vacant parking space in malls and large shopping centers. They decided to develop parking guidance software for multi-story parking facilities in shopping centers to help driving customers park faster. However, the Customer lacked competencies for the implementation.
Being experienced in application development, ScienceSoft started with the analysis of customer requirements. The team then examined the current market offering and proposed a unique and elegant solution that combines parking guidance with sales-boosting features.
The software relies on a network of beacons and allows the app to work as a GPS navigator, even if there is no GPS signal available.
The app allows to:
- Drive to a destination point (selection of free parking slots are available on the map);
- Remember the car position. This feature is similar to “home” or “favorites” function in a navigator;
- Navigate to the place of interest – a shop, restaurant, or an emergency exit.
ScienceSoft ensured the monetization of the parking guidance application by introducing complementing sales-boosting functionality. The app is integrated with the global shopping mall loyalty system – a marketing platform for the retailers who run businesses in the mall: shops, restaurants, cinemas, etc.
Functionality for retailers:
- Dedicated working spaces. Each retailer has their dedicated password-protected working space. When the company marketer enters the marketing platform, they receive access to the potential consumers’ audience.
- Statistics module. System collects data about the parking guidance mobile app users, such as:
- Interests, behavioral patterns, and preferences.
- Types of promo campaigns they better respond to.
- Responses to questionnaires.
- Marketing campaign setup. Marketers can set up a marketing campaign with tracked results, metrics, conversion rules, etc. They can deliver promo information to consumers using:
- Instant push notifications.
- Email campaigns.
- Geofence triggers.
Functionality for consumers:
- Information on “hot deals”. There is a list of advertisements assigned to the shops on the map. Users can apply a promo code to get a discount in the shop.
- Instant push notification on specific events targeted at a particular consumer. Notifications can be sent even when a user is offline.
- Email notification. When a person is outside the shop, they can receive promo information by email.
- Geofence triggers. When a user gets to the “geofenced” floor or area, they receive ads only if they are a part of the target audience.
- 3D compass and augmented reality. A user can be guided through the mall to the required store. During navigation, virtual advertising messages can augment the real picture, taken by the device's camera.
Users can create and modify their shopping lists by using external database located on the server. When they create a new shopping list, they can use “history”, “auto suggestion”, “favorites” functions.
After introducing the software to their shopping malls, the Customer's clients saw a significant increase in the number of visitors as well as in overall sales. The software is now gaining popularity even among smaller shopping centers.
Technologies and Tools
Mobile: iOS SDK, Android, SQLite, Bluetooth API, REST.
Server: Microsoft Azure, ASP.NET MVC, RIA Services, ADO.NET, Entity Framework.