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December 17, 2009

Aisle411 Unveils Text Messaging Service Based on Weather Activity
By Shamila Janakiraman
TMCnet Contributor

Aisle411 has launched a text messaging coupon service tied to weather activity at 12 Missouri and Illinois Ace Hardware stores.

St.Louis-based Aisle411 partnered with Ace Hardware earlier to launch the voice recognition product location mobile phone service, company officials said.

Helpful Hints from Aisle411 will allow retailers to create mobile marketing campaigns connected with weather activity. It will send text messages to Ace customers alerting them to a storm approaching their area or it may send good weather forecasts. The message will include Ace Hardware coupons and special offers for weather-related items.

In case the weather service issues a warning for freezing rain the system will send an alert to Ace customers and offer them coupons for items like Ice Melt or salt for the sidewalk, explained Aisle411 sources.

Nathan Pettyjohn, Aisle411 chairman and CEO, said that the company is all about adding to the bottom line.

“We designed the original Aisle411 product location service to keep customers from walking away from a store because they couldn’t find what they were looking for on the shelves,” Pettyjohn said. “Aisle411 Helpful Hints is designed to drive in-store foot traffic by literally maximizing a force already pushing customers into stores – the weather.”

Rick Baalmann, president of Ace, St. Louis, said that weather drives shopping at hardware stores more than any other retailer. Also customers prefer text messaging as a way to find products on store shelves. The launch of the Aisle411 service last August has promoted this idea. Ace will be offering mobile coupons associated with weather alerts and other local community events, he noted.

Aisle411 will offer pre-programmed seasonal campaigns for Ace which will be tied to Ace’s national marketing initiatives or they may be based on localized events. Texted coupons may be offered in association with weekend big games or they may be reminders to buy batteries when clocks are set according to the seasons, company officials said.

The company helps consumers benefit by saving time and by increasing their own efficiency. Aisle411’s service has created a new disruptive technology channel for retailers and consumer product companies to gain competitive advantage over other marketers.

Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire


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