January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Geepers Creepers, Where'd You Get Those Customers?

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

GeePS.com Inc. has begun beta testing a location-based, wireless online shopping portal in New York City and San Francisco, says the Cranbury, N.J.-based company. The service brings the convergence of wireless technologies WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), Palm, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and location-based technologies to bricks-and-mortar businesses, it says.

GeePS.com, Inc. will provide an end-to-end solution that enables bricks-and-mortar businesses of all sizes to acquire new customers, called "GeePSters," with personalized location-based shopping announcements, deals, coupons, rebates, information, price comparisons, and wireless transactions.

Using current hand-held wireless devices such as Palm VII, WAP phones and new Internet-enabled devices, GeePSters can view the merchants in their vicinity as well as receive special announcements and deals offered by these merchants, the company says.

As the user enters the bricks-and-mortar mall, he or she clicks the GeePS button on the Palm VII screen, which displays a list of the local stores at that mall with an icon announcing a promotion or coupon for each store. The user clicks on the coupon for The Gap, for example, and the Palm VII screen shows a $12 discount on all jeans purchased at that time. He or she decides that this is a tempting offer and enters the physical store. After choosing the jeans that fit, the user shows the cashier the coupon displayed on the screen. Initially, the test will be offered to prequalified merchants in New York and San Francisco, says GeePS, the leading markets for adaptation of the technologies required for the service. Merchants will be offered the ability to create their own GeePS wireless sites and promotions. Registration is free, the company says. A privacy policy promises GeePS will not to disclose user information to third parties. Registration is only required when users want access to more personalized services and messages. GeePS is a "pull technology," it explains, so users only receive personalized messages by request, and they will not be "spammed."

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