Tuesday, 08 December 2015 17:17

Booodl’s new investment to deliver ‘smart local shopping experience’ to Australians

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‘Smart’ local shopping app Booodl has completed a $2.85m strategic investment round led by Scentre Group, owner of Westfield in A/NZ.

Booodl says its ‘app and website uses geolocation and machine learning to help consumers find physical retail stores that sell products they want.’

If you’re a user of Booodl, you can the products you want to an in-app list to them ‘receive reminder notifications whenever you’re near a store that sells one,’ which will help to drive more relevant customers in-store.

You will also be able to message stores via the app to confirm details such as price and availability, and pre-purchase products from retailers that have enabled the ‘Pay & Pickup’ feature.

Booodl says ‘this reflects a significant global trend around consumer-to-business messaging and in-message transactions.’

Booodl says it has over 15,000 stores across Australia in its network, with the new $2.85 million investment to be used ‘to accelerate store growth and user acquisition.

Booodl Co-Founder and CEO, George Freney said: “Our mission is to help all stores get found by shoppers who want their products.

“To achieve this we’re in the process of building the most comprehensive and intelligent retail store directory out there, down to the category, brand and product level. It’s no small technical feat,” said Freney.

The physical store is the heart of the shopping experience, yet stores still miss crucial opportunities to engage with nearby shoppers, and users waste countless hours trying to find and buy what they’re after. Booodl says that ‘connecting the two was a logical step’ and, unsurprisingly, it is one that resonated with Scentre Group - operator of Westfield stores in Australia and New Zealand.

Centre Group CEO, Peter Allen said: “Our purpose is to create extraordinary places, and connect and enrich communities.

“Enhancing the connection between retailers and shoppers is a strategic objective for our business, and Booodl’s technology - which helps shoppers find what they want and allows retailers to be discovered easily - provides a meaningful platform where this can happen.”

Booodl says its nationwide launch follows a successful Sydney-based pilot program with seven local retail partners.

More details below, please read on. 

During this time, we’re told that ’31,600 products were added to users’ lists, 12,500 reminder notifications were sent to nearby shoppers, and over 6,200 messages were exchanged between stores and customers.’

Australian label Aje, one of Booodl’s retail partners, said the app is helping their business to flourish within the evolving shopping landscape.

Adrian Norris, one half of the design duo behind Aje said: “An online presence is essential for any retail business, but being able to directly connect with customers in your local area is the future of retail.

“Booodl has helped us connect with our existing customers and reach new shoppers who otherwise may not have considered our stores.”

Scentre Group joins James Packer, Erica Baxter, Square Peg Capital and Matthew Grounds as investors in the Sydney-based startup.

Users can download Booodl for free from the App Store or Google Play, and retailers can claim their store profile via the Booodl website

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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