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Australian app aims to close the loop on shopping

A mobile app which will alert shoppers that an item they have browsed online is available in a nearby store is about to be released in Australia…

The service – called RainCheck – aims to close the loop on abandoned online shopping carts and tighten retailer-consumer links.

According to the Baymard Institute which tracks web usability, online shopping cart abandonment is running at about 68.5 percent internationally.

And, said Cameron Wall, RainCheck CEO and co-founder; “Most people research online but buy offline.”

Initially the company will concentrate on rolling out the app for retailers of women’s clothing and scale from there. He said that the company was planning to launch the service in Spring with up to a dozen Australian retailers.

To deploy the system RainCheck inserts a custom Java script onto a retailer’s ecommerce site. This creates a RainCheck button on the site and at checkout.

Consumers meanwhile will be encouraged to download an app (initially for iPhones, but eventually for Android phones too) which will aggregate the shopping lists that they have been creating when browsing online sites.

That list can be shared with friends also.

Beacon technologies will identify when a consumer approaches participating retailers’ outlets and send an alert to the app to tell the consumer that the outfit they have been browsing online is available in the right size at the nearby retail outlet.

Wall said that there was also the option for retailers to attach coupons to the alert to encourage purchase.

In the future the company also plans to integrate smartphone payment systems such as ApplePay and PayPal.

Wall said that RainCheck’s business model was around the data that was collected when consumers browsed an online commerce site. “We wanted to do it on a pay per performance – but retailers are not at that level,” he said. Instead RainCheck plans to charge a per store, per month fee for the service which will be charged on a sliding scale according to the average basket size at a retailer.

Stores will also be able to access an online dashboard to explore consumer data in more detail.

Earlier this month RainCheck was the only Australian company to secure a position in the Unilever Foundry 50 listing which ranks disruptive marketing startups and last week participated in the Innovation Lions event, part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Read the article on iStart.