With a plan of making product ratings social, Greentape is launching a new app that they hope will bring in-store product reviews to consumers while (hopefully) spawning more product purchases for merchants. The team is demoing this new app at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.
Greentape works like this: Consumers download the app, and as they move throughout a retail store the location aware app notifies them about products with the active user reviews as they pass by those products. It is accurate to about 3 feet or so, according to CEO Chris Daltas.
My first question of course was “how is this different from ShopKick”. Chris was quick to point out that Greentape is all about reviews and not rewards. It is purely about what user reviews exist for certain products, but tied to products in a local store.
For example, their demo on the Startup Alley floor included a faux shoe display. As a user comes within range of the display, a list of reviews for all the different shoes in the display pops up on the app. The product with the highest ratings, shows up on top. Users can view these reviews to make purchasing decisions, or leave their own reviews.
From a technical standpoint, Greentape’s system works with the help of a fixed number of hardware beacons that are installed within a retail location. Those beacons are linked with software, so that merchants can associate products with certain areas in the retail store.
From that point on, any smartphone using the app in an outfitted retail location can have access to leave and read product reviews.
So that’s how it is good for consumers — empowered shopping experiences. But how is it good for merchants?
It is good for merchants because, the reviews could trigger an engagement that leads to a purchase. Also, the merchant is capturing lots of data about consumers inside their stores.
Greentape will be deploying this service soon, in some capacity, with both Whole Foods and Alex and Ani.