Ad-driven m-shopping service launches in the UK
A new mobile phone-based shopping mall called '2shop4' has launched a trial service in the UK, with the aim of providing loyalty rewards for m-shopping activities and bringing about a wide-scale change in the way mobile phone users shop for products they want.
The 2shop4 service, operated by Dialogue Communications, was developed on a Microsoft platform by software firms Evevoy Developments and Hero Solutions, and will allow users to buy products instantly through the mobile internet and through text codes.
Two-stage purchasing Shopping adverts for global brands, high street shops, supermarkets, travel agencies, sports, and even cinema tickets will appear throughout multiple media outlets such as bill boards, magazines, television, and the internet. The adverts will feature 2shop4 "Buy-Now codes" or keywords that shoppers can send in by SMS text message to purchase the advertised goods.
After sending in the code or keyword (e.g. "Flowers" for a florist's advert), the consumer immediately receives a 2shop4 Buy-Now WAP advert on their mobile phone. The user then selects the advertised product and buys it via a secure payment system and the goods are delivered to their registered address.
The 2shop4 system works independently of mobile network operators, and currently allows payments to be made using any registered MasterCard, Maestro, PayPal, Visa, Delta or Switch account.
Expansion and diversification Following the initial trial phase, the 2shop4 service will be launched nationwide in October 2007, and there are even plans for a more global service to be launched in 2008. Evevoy reports that it is already in talks with a global advertising network.
Andrew Curry, chairman for Evevoy, confirmed that another similar service called 2share4 is also currently being developed for Buy-Now Stocks and Shares, which will include a brand charity loyalty programme.