Startup Thirdshelf Lets Retailers Easily Appify For The Sales Floor
July 23, 2013 by Dave Haynes
Retailers who want to get their pots and pans, or whatever they sell, onto app-driven tablets for staff can find themselves conflicted on exactly how to do that.
The default option is to get an app development team to build one and get it approved and loaded in app stores. If the retailer has a solid web presence and uses HTML5, it might be able to develop a web-driven app.
Now a Montreal interactive firm has written an app that is already approved and up on the Apple app store, and also available for Windows 8, that lets retailers just use what’s already built on a SaaS basis.
The product is called Thirdshelf and is billed as the first platform to allow retailers to deploy tablets in-store, showcase their products, and offer social media right at the shelf level.
“Retailers invest big budgets for great content – whether it’s photo shoots, videos, feature descriptions, or a product story,” says Antoine Azar, CEO of Thirdshelf. “But all this content only lives online. When you step inside of a store, all that content is nowhere to be seen. The result: products are presented with no context or details, and customers go online to fill the gap – leading to showrooming.”
Thirdshelf suggests many retail brands, including Apple, have deployed tablets in-store, but many of them spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars getting custom apps built to showcase their content.
Thirdshelf now allows any retailer to display this content in a beautiful format, update it at any time from the Web, and collect detailed analytics about shopper activity.
Thirdshelf pushes the physical-digital integration even further: it offers the world’s most advanced social media capabilities in a retail environment: shoppers are able to like products, add them to a wish list, and even ask friends for advice, right from the tablet. No usernames or passwords are necessary – Thirdshelf uses a revolutionary login method that uses the shopper’s mobile device as an identification key, no app needed.
The company has developed out of another one called 2XMinteractive. “We’ve built many custom experiences in the past for clients in the 100k+ budgets, and want to democratize this,” says Azar. “Another really cool feature of our platform is the social sharing capability right from the tablet, using your mobile phone as an identification key. We see this as the first step of a much larger vision of “smart” stores an customer connectivity.
The company says it is currently signing up retailers for pilots, with clients as far afield as Cairo, Egypt.