July 14, 2011, 4:09 PM

iPad is pressed into service as a door greeter

Next Jump uses an app specially designed to greet shoppers.

Lead Photo

Invite-only shoppers are vetted against a guest list greeters access using an app on an iPad.

Consumers showing up at invite-only special shopping events organized by Next Jump Inc. no longer have to stand and wait while a door greeter scans a list for their names. Now all they need to do is give their names to the greeter, who types them into Next Jump’s iPad app. When a match is found between the iPad app and a Next Jump database, a consumer is checked in and ready to shop.

Next Jump organizes one to two of these shopping events a quarter in New York and Chicago, typically drawing between 20 and 40 merchants, it says. It sends out invitations to customers based on its database of millions of consumers, Next Jump says. It gathers identifiable consumer demographics from numerous online organizations and companies with which it has partnered; consumers must opt in to the program via the organizations in order for identifiable data to be shared. These consumers  include members of AARP and those enrolled in Borders Group Inc. rewards program, among others, Next Jump says.

Invited shoppers visit participating stores as they choose, checking in at each store via the iPad app. The events help drive consumers to the stores, says Charlie Kim, Next Jump CEO. “Merchants typically see between three to four times their average sales when we run an event,” Kim says.

In addition to sales, another big payoff is the data, Kim explains. With the iPad app, merchants get easier access to aggregated data about the event and shoppers. The iPad app is connected to Next Jump’s consumer database. When a shopper is checked in, her name is matched to her Next Jump file, which generates some basic demographic  for later use. The data can show how many men and women visited the store, their income levels and ages, for example.“The demographic data allows retailers to better target customers and reward them for their loyalty, online and off,” he says.

Participating merchants receive the analytics data, which shows them aggregated information about the event.

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