As I wrote in December, brick and mortar retailers will need to personalize and make the in-store shopping experience unique to compete with online e-commerce sites. Today, Signature is launching to help retailers deliver a more personalized experience for consumers at retail stores. The Signature mobile app is essentially a personal shopping assistant, providing a curated shopping experience, with up-to-date product information, and customer service.
Signature, which is available as an iPhone app, will deliver notifications around shopping events and information such as updates on preferred items and brands, or when new arrivals hit the floor. Customers will also get an in-store greeting with a summary of what’s new, the latest fashions on the floor, and any relevant sales or events.
The app will also deliver real-time visibility into when preferred sales associates are in-store, along with the ability to make appointments and leave messages for associates. And sales associates, using their own app, will tailor the shopping experience to shoppers’ preferences, favorites, and sizes.
On the retailer side, Signature provides sales associates with iPad apps which allow them to access customer information and product catalogues at their fingertips. Sales associates can see when a customer has entered a store, and what items the customer is looking for.
Already, Signature has signed a handful of top retailers as paying customers, including Seven For All Minkind. The company is rolling out pilot deployments nationwide, and plans to launch publicly with a number of well-known retailers in Spring 2012.
As CEO David Hegarty explains to me, the value add for both retailers and consumers is clear. Signature provides a more personal, and mobile shopping experience for consumers, and offers a way for retailers to improve in-store engagement and conversion, which is going to help differentiate the experience from online purchasing. Already, startups like ShopKick are catching on to this trend.
Hegarty says that the startup offers a universal iPhone app for consumers (instead of branded store apps) because most consumers don’t want to download several different apps for different stores. This way, consumers can open one app and simply choose the store they wish to shop in.
The startup is definitely onto something when it comes to helping retailers provide a more personalized experience to consumers. Basically, Hegarty wants to be able to recreate the experience you receive at an Apple store at other retail stores, he explains.
Signature has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Triangle Peak Partners, Amicus Capital, Don Hutchison, and Dave Pell.