July 18, 2012, 10:42 AM

A new marketing service makes store circulars mobile

The program delivers circulars and offers to store shoppers’ smartphones when they walk in.

Lead Photo

Stores can deliver consumers deals, mobile circulars and coupons on their mobile devices.

Bargain-hunting store shoppers no longer need to track down the paper circular to find the latest store deals. That is, not if they shop in a store that’s signed up for a new mobile marketing program from LocalResponse and ShopLocal.

A new deal between ShopLocal, which offers web-based store circulars, and LocalResponse, a mobile marketing and advertising platform, enables brands to target consumers with ads and product information while they are in the store.

The move takes ShopLocal’s SmartCircular, which was previously only available to consumers via desktop computers, to smartphones via LocalResponse, which works with more than 75 advertisers to deliver coupons, loyalty rewards and discounts to more than 100 million U.S.-consumers on their mobile devices and desktops, LocalResponse says.

Here’s how it works: LocalResponse monitors public social media channels and consumers’ store check-ins on sites like Twitter, foursquare and Facebook to find those shopping at specific stores. It then taps into ShopLocal’s API, or application programming interface,  to offer those consumers a store ad or circular with product information.

So, for example, if a consumer checks in to a store through foursquare and then elects to share that check-in via foursquare’s integrated Twitter sharing function, foursquare automatically posts a tweet with the store’s mention. LocalResponse catches the reference by monitoring mentions on Twitter and other social networks, then LocalResponse sends a tweet with that consumer’s Twitter name beginning with the @ symbol and the message designated by the retailer.

In her account settings, a Twitter user can elect to have a text message or e-mail sent to her immediately when her @ name is mentioned. So if she checks in and shares a tweet and LocalResponse then sends a tweet with her @ name, Twitter instantly sends her an e-mail or text message, which she can view on her phone, alerting her to the mobile circular from ShopLocal as well as any other discounts or promotions the retailer wishes to offer. Consumers can then select and redeem mobile offers when they check out.

“Our partnership with ShopLocal represents an exciting opportunity for retailers looking to target mobile users with in-store promotional campaigns,” says Kathy Leake, president and co-founder, LocalResponse. “Our ability to offer ShopLocal’s SmartCircular product as a mobile experience makes (store) promotions more relevant for consumers and we believe will significantly increase in-store redemptions and purchases that may not have occurred otherwise.”

Walgreen Co. early this year began using a similar program from LocalResponse to offer store shoppers recommendations and sales offers on their mobile phones as soon as they enter the store and check in through any of the various mobile check-in services.

Retailers including Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, Staples, CVS and Sears use ShopLocal’s web-based circulars, the company reports.

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