By Aimee Chanthadavong

It’s a dreary scene in retail at the moment with many stores left empty.

To turn to this around and to drive foot traffic back to stores, a Perth-based app development company Devisd has developed ShopBites, a shopping app that rewards customers for walking into a retail store and interacting with products.

Devisd CEO Richard Johnson told RetailBiz ShopBites will help bring shoppers back into the store again.

“Online is here to stay and it’s growing to be a convenient way to shop,” he said.

“But the thing about online though is the conversion rate is still very low even with an optimised website it’s only about 3 per cent.

“With offline or a bricks and mortar when someone walks into a store they’re likely to buy something so if you can get them into the store in the first place, so ShopBites would act as a funnel to drive people in-store.”

ShopBites operates in two-folds. Retailers can treat it as a channel for their online brochure and allow consumers to browse through their product range from home.

In addition, using geo-location technology and beacons (that are USB dongles) installed in and round the store, ShopBites becomes a loyalty program. It rewards customers with ‘bites’ for walking into the store and interacting with a product through their smartphones that can be accumulated and redeemed for real rewards.

Johnson said retailers have the freedom to install the beacons anywhere in their stores and can adjust them accordingly so it detects consumers in a proximity of up to 50 metres of a product. Retailers can then use this to send promotional message to customers to draw their attention to certain products.

The design of ShopBites is based on the model of the US’ ShopKick, which has five million users and has driven more than 17 million verified store walk-ins.  Additionally, it has driven more than $300 million in revenue to it retail partners who include, Macy’s, Target and Toys ‘R’ Us.