Japan’s Docomo has started a six month trial of a discovery and check-in platform for retailers called Shoppulatto.
The trial will take place at 170 stores mainly in metropolitan Tokyo, said the operator, although it did not disclose the names of the participating retailers.
The platform sends promotional information to users equipped with a smartphone which has a dedicated app. Information is sent to users when they enter a store that is part of the trial.
The app enables users to view information about coupons, offers and promotions from the participating retailers.
When a user enters a store, their check-in feature on their app is automatically activated. The user then receives promotional information targeted at their particular demographic.
Docomo says it will use “an inaudible high-frequency sound signal” to activate the smartphone check-in. The signal is transmitted by a device positioned in the store.
Typically, says Docomo, a retailer can install several such devices including one at the entrance and others at sales counters, the idea being to encourage shoppers to walk around the shop in order to receive coupons and offers.
As well as sending out data to users, the trial also aims to gather information about shopping habits. It will run until 31 August. The Docomo app is suitable for Android and iOS devices. Usage is free, except for data charges.
The trial will not include payments via smartphone. Elsewhere, services such as coupons, offers and promotions typically accompany credit and debit cards in the same mobile wallet.