Digital for all now

#Retail: with Step-In, Optic 2000 launches mobile-to-store!

Econocom 30 Sep 2015

How to draw customers into brick-and-mortar stores amid increasing competition from e-commerce? What’s the best way to combine mobile web sales with physical stores?

In order to boost store traffic, Optic 2000, France’s leading chain of opticians, has gone digital. Using a system that combines ultrasonic beacons and mobile-to-store apps, the company can locate its customers via GPS and offer them incentives to they enter the store.



Attempting to lure customers into stores by offering loyalty points and targeted special offers: this is what Optic 2000 plans to do via a partnership with Step-In, a French startup that has developed an innovative mobile-to-store system.


The concept is based on beacons using ultrasound technology that locates shoppers who’ve downloaded the app whenever they are within a fifty-metre radius of an Optic 2000 branch. These potential customers are then offered Steps, special loyalty points which can be exchanged for gift vouchers or discount coupons that can be spent at any of the company’s partners such as Starbucks, Sephora, Darty or Monoprix: all the have to do is go into an Optic 2000 store!





The aim of the app, which will be rolled out on 21 September 2015 at 70 pilot stores, is to increase store traffic and improve the customer experience. As Michel Dailly, Marketing Director at Optic 2000, explains:


“This customer loyalty tool is an ideal addition to our loyalty programme because it rewards customer just for entering a shop, before they even buy anything. It also enables us to interact with our customers while they’re in our stores and measure their satisfaction after they’ve left.”


The partnership with Step-In will enable Optic 2000 to offer customers a more personalised, engaging shopping experience, whilst enhancing its brand image as an ultra-connected company – an essential differentiating factor in an  increasingly competitive market.





Optic 2000 isn’t the only company to adopt Step-In: since it was launched in 2014, the startup has already equipped around 1,300 retailers including Celio, Orange, Eram and La Chaise Longue. The solution is particularly worthwhile for companies who only rewards customers who enter the store, and with an average of 10 to 40 centimes spent per customer, there’s a fast Return on Investment.


Step-In uses ultrasonic beacons: Olivier Serfaty, who created the technology, explains:


“There were two possible technologies: Bluetooth or ultrasound. The problem with Bluetooth is that it went through walls, so visitors didn’t actually need to go into the shop to win points.”


The beacons are so accurate that at larger branches, the app can draw customers to a specific aisle or send targeted special offers based on the shopper’s  path-to-purchase.


Inspired by American app Shopkick, Step-In also enables stores to glean valuable data  about consumers, especially as customers get additional Steps if they agree to complete a  satisfaction survey after their visit – a potential goldmine for advertisers. Step-In’s Board of Directors includes heavyweights such as professional social network Viadeo, Jacques-Antoine Granjon of online retailer Vente-Privée and the ubiquitous Xavier Niel (French entrepreneur and boss of ISP Free, Ed).



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