Whole Foods Market Ramps Up “Check-ins” With In-Store Mobile Module

The conversation around location-based mobile applications has created big buzz among retail marketers looking for ways to extend brand outreach and engage mobile shoppers. But when leveraging apps like shopkick or Foursquare, among others, retailers are not reaching customers via their own branded application or channel.

Whole Foods Market recently tapped Digby to leverage the company’s most recent launch, an In-Store Mobile Module, a feature set designed to enable retailers to engage and communicate with customers from the moment they enter the store to the time they leave, all through the retailer’s branded application.

Through the customer’s ability to check in, scan product barcodes and promotional QR codes, a retailer can track mobile activities inside the store and serve up relevant promotional messages in real time to drive sales, enhance loyalty, and gain insight into consumer behavior.


“Digby is one of the key leaders, and our primary partner, in mobility solutions for retailers, and we’re excited that they are investing in technology that will empower retailers to deliver engaging in-store experiences,” said Michael Clifford, Chief Information Officer for Whole Foods Market, in a press release. “To date, most consumers’ experiences with mobile relate to e-commerce transactions. However, delighting customers while they are in our stores is critical to Whole Foods Market’s success, and smart phone applications are enabling entirely new opportunities to take this to higher levels.”

Typical use cases for Digby’s In-Store Mobile Module include:

Store Visit-Based Marketing: When a customer walks into the store with the retailer’s branded app installed on their smart phone, the retailer can send a welcome message through the app containing the message: “Would you like to check-in?” Once “checked-in,” the retailer’s application automatically opens and customers can receive exclusive offers, hear about new product introductions and find news about in-store events. Customers also can update their Facebook page telling their friends where they are and letting them know about the in-store deals they have discovered.

In-Store Product Research: Within the retailer’s branded app, barcode scanning and product look-up empower product research so customers can access additional information about specific products to make a more educated purchase decision. As customers walk through the store, they can scan product UPC codes to view complete product descriptions, multiple product images, ratings and reviews; add to wish list and registry; and even see a 30-second video demonstration from a product expert. The retailer can then push a special offer or promotional message to the customer to entice them to purchase the product while in the store.

QR Code Scan: A customer’s ability to scan QR codes within the retailer’s branded app and have them link to any number of offers or responses unlocks countless possibilities for making a retail store mobile-aware. In a QR pilot program, users were able to rate a sampling station by scanning QR codes. The activity not only generated insights into product preferences, but also created an opportunity to serve relevant promotions.

Store Exit: Upon leaving the store, retailers can send customers a notification within the branded app that could include an invitation to an exit survey, a loyalty promotion or even a simple “thank you” for visiting the store.

Promotion Management and Analytics Dashboard: The Promotion Management and Analytics Dashboard provides the tools for retailers to easily track, measure and understand consumer mobile use case patterns, create in-store campaigns that link relevant messages and offers to customer mobile activities, and manage those campaigns.

Digby’s in-store mobile module offers retailers the mobile tools to engage with their customers while in the store and to drive sales and relevant promotions through multiple mobile touch points that are completely measurable, all through the retailers’ branded apps. At the same time, consumers are empowered by getting access to relevant information and offers so they can make a more educated purchase decision.

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