VisibleBrands™ Delivers Enormous Potential for Retail Sales Lift with Real-Time Locating Systems


Enables a paradigm shift in how brands and retailers engage shoppers

Engaging Shoppers at the Moment of Decision

Change is here in retail. The industry is about to see a complete overhaul in how brands engage the consumer at the store shelf, right at the moment of decision. For grocery retailers, competitive threats, price wars, and rising costs are forcing them to think out of the box. Intelligently engaging the consumer while they are in the store and digitising the in-store experience is key to monetizing the retailer's core asset—shopper traffic.

When it comes to retail shopping, the purchasing decision moment occurs at the store shelf. This requires advertisers to start a conversation with a consumer online, on social, or on TV networks and finish the conversation when the shopper arrives in their brand category to buy.

And that's where VisibleBrands™ and Zebra shine with their revolutionary cloud-based media solution and locating technology. It intelligently engages and seamlessly targets every shopper at the shelf with relevant branded promotional offers, transforming shopping carts and baskets into sales lifting assets.

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The Story

The Challenge

For years, big brands have used the same traditional advertising channels for consumer outreach. However, these channels are increasingly fragmented and losing their value in lifting sales, driving retention and new customer acquisition. As traditional channels become less efficient, the emerging digital channels have yet to prove their effectiveness with substantial, measurable bottom line lift for the major brands.

The general shopping experience has not changed in decades. Coupons are still largely paper-based and do not target specific shopping habits. Instead, the right place to close the promotional loop is with a shopper who is buying right now, in the category, right at the store shelf. For advertisers, an in-store, category shelf edge can be the endpoint of the promotion effort, which begins with other channels. For the retailer, it can be the beginning point that drives traffic to localized brands and specialty promotions.

Tim Morton, President and CEO of VisibleBrands says, "Visible Brands is the tip of the spear transforming how people shop and how advertisers sell across multiple channels. Leveraging the cloud, location-based wireless networks, and real time behavioral and purchase-based analytics, our systems extend the power of online advertising right down to the shelf."

The Solution

VisibleBrands recognised the significant challenges with building a scalable, cost-effective location-based system that meets real-time and accuracy requirements. Retail centres contain metal shelves, freestanding product displays, wiring, and other physical materials. These obstructions affect most RF-based solutions' ability to accurately locate shoppers, and VisibleBrands needed a technology and partner with proven solutions. By choosing Zebra, VisibleBrands secured the optimal partner to realize the vision of enabling the marketplace to connect, control, and unlock their campaign and path-to-purchase visibility.

At the core of the location system are Zebra Dart Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Real Time Locating System (RTLS) wireless tags embedded in shopping carts and baskets. Zebra Dart sensors deployed throughout a store detect the location and movement of shopping carts in real time. The VisibleBrands vPathSM system processes the location data, and delivers digital and coupon content to selected shoppers via a network of touch screen devices at the shelf edge.

Coupled with vRailSM Server, retailers gain a scalable solution that allows for targeting by category, shopper behavioral profile, time of day, and many other factors. The complete solution is an intelligent, scalable location-based media system that manages every cart and basket as a connected device on the network. It captures all the path analytics and event data while leveraging demand ratio data and real-time analytics to serve the right offer at the right time. VisibleBrands monetizes impressions in brand categories and makes it easier for shoppers to accept promotional offers that are unique to that store, chain, and/or particular location.

Real time predictive analytics enables the solution to segment high value audiences and deliver customised offers available to shoppers based on a variety of path, purchase, behaviour and other known demand ratios. These are packaged and made available on a subscription basis to vendors in every category with the retail partner.

Morton continues, "We are delivering enterprise class solutions designed to provide network scalability across thousands of in-store locations and millions of connected devices, and insights that forever change the competitive landscape in retail. Through the Zebra partnership, we leverage the location capability to track the carts and baskets and measure session data as shoppers move throughout the store." What's more, the VisibleBrands solution uploads campaign data to the cloud in real time. Brands and retailers can tailor and target promotions based on behavioral data, increasing basket size, and driving continuity offers on behalf of brands. It also helps move shoppers to other locations in the store for more offers with associated products or item.

Zebra has helped us build a scalable, commercial-grade solution, and we are thrilled. It unlocks an entirely new, disruptive media channel that is sure to become the new paradigm for reaching and changing the behaviour of shoppers at the moment of decision.

Tim Morton, President and CEO,

The Results

The VisibleBrands and Zebra solution allows retailers to take full advantage of their most important asset—shopper traffic. It transforms retail into a new promotional channel that provides retailers with a new stream of revenue. It also provides a new stream of shopper marketing data including path analytics, dwell times and densities, trip types, etc., that offers new insights to help retailers better merchandise their products.

Now, brands can turn retail into a targeted media destination. It closes the path-to-purchase loop for brands and allows them to deliver the last impression to shoppers at the moment of decision. It also gives them a long list of new analytics and metrics including category traffic and brand connections, sales, lift, ROI all in real-time so that brands can adjust campaigns on the fly.

VisibleBrands is now delivering impression-based, digital coupon campaigns on the shelf for a wide variety of products from cookies to crackers to cereal. According to Morton, the campaign results are extremely promising. "In snack nuts for example, we wanted to drive impulse purchase with a $1.00 coupon. Resulting sales jumped 122% over baseline and we delivered a 511% ROI. In cookies, we wanted to marry a $.50 coupon with a display offer. The campaign drove sales that were 165% over baseline and an ROI of 329%."

Morton sums it up. "Zebra has helped us build a scalable, commercial-grade solution, and we are thrilled. It unlocks an entirely new, disruptive media channel that is sure to become the new paradigm for reaching and changing the behaviour of shoppers at the moment of decision."

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