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Could Toronto’s Digital Retail Apps change the way you shop?

Customers of Edmonton's Lux Beauty Boutique recently got the digital red carpet treatment from Toronto's Digital Media Apps.
Customers of Edmonton’s Lux Beauty Boutique recently got the digital red carpet treatment from Toronto’s Digital Retail Apps.

Of all the “disruptive” technologies out there, such as those promising to transform forever the way you interact with how you brush your teeth or manage your social media portfolio etc., you can be fairly sure that most of them are decent ideas that may or may not work out in the long haul. Most aspire to the Steve Jobs-ish goal of creating a need for a product that previously didn’t exist.

The ones that stick will likely solve problems that are invisible to us, we’re so used to performing the meaningless ritual day in and day out. For example, standing around in line waiting to pay for something.

Point-of-sale technology is already a crowded field, with contenders vying to dominate particular verticals, like seamlessly integrating the back ends of gas stations, for example.

For the past few months, Toronto company Digital Retail Apps has been running a project at the LUX Beauty Boutique in Edmonton, implementing use of its SelfPay app last December 6. The results of the first few months are in, and for students of retail and consumer behaviour, they’re interesting.

Unsurprisingly, 78% of total transactions processed using the SelfPay app during the shop’s busiest periods were new accounts, since most people using it would de facto only sign up for the new technology when they realized it existed. LUX Beauty Boutique also put some effort into marketing the app for its April 12 anniversary sale.

Perhaps a little more surprisingly, it was found that consumers who downloaded and used the SelfPay app spent more than they would have on average, compared to those who stood in line waiting for a free register. The shop saw a 17% increase in purchase size for consumers using their credit card in concert with the app, compared to simply making the purchase at the till.

“SelfPay is great for shoppers. We promote it during slower periods precisely so that during busier times, shoppers are aware of it, we don’t lose sales, and provide a better shopping experience. Once implemented, SelfPay will pay dividends time and time again,” said Jennifer Grimm, Owner, Lux Beauty Boutique.

The SelfPay app recognizes a customer in-store as soon as they walk in the door. The customer can add things to their in-app shopping cart as well as look up product details and finally pay without having to stand in a line or wait for a free cashier.

The app accepts credit cards and PayPal right now, with an eye towards using phones as mobile wallets, and also has a patent-pending payment verification technology in the works.

“Our goal is to enable friction-free commerce for consumers and give our brick and mortar retail partners a big sales boost from deploying SelfPay,” said Wendy MacKinnon Keith, CEO & Founder for Digital Retail Apps. “We are thrilled with the early results and look forward to working with the LUX Beauty Boutique team to turn app users into ongoing, loyal customers.”

With CTO Julian Paas on board, who was previously director of User Experience at RIM and who personally is named as an inventor on over 40 patents, the likelihood that this particular app will end up carrying the retail day seems likelier than most.


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