Spring 2011
Mall Maps and Metrics

A mall app is a win-win for your customers and you.

Imagine knowing precisely how your customers are navigating through the mall and where they stop during a visit. A new app from TapWalk, a Boston-based startup, delivers just that kind of information to mall management.

TapWalk’s platform for the mobile app can be customized for any mall. “When people go to a mall, one of the needs they have is for a directory to understand what stores there are,” says Frank Schroth, director of marketing for the company. TapWalk’s app delivers it to them.

Features that enhance the customer experience include a store directory, the ability to search by keyword instead of just store name or category, an up-to-date calendar of events, and a list of coupons offered at the mall.

For mall management, the information and reporting about customer behavior is invaluable. “The current systems at best tell you 400 people walked in and 400 people walked out,” says Dave Owens, founder and CTO at TapWalk who points out that TapWalk’s reporting capabilities are more advanced. “If you go to a website, it tracks everything you click on and the website owner gets a report of how people are using and navigating through the site—we allow that same kind of reporting in the real world.” For example, if someone searches for jeans, gets a list of five stores, chooses to go to Sears, and then stops at a restaurant on the way out, the app can track that.

Integration with LinkedIn and Facebook is on the list of features to come, as is the ability for exhibitors to incorporate video or audio segments into the app. TapWalk is currently compatible only with the iPhone, but the company plans to add other Smartphones soon.

Tradeshow walk

The navigation capabilities TapWalk implements for malls translate easily to tradeshow venues as well. In fact, courtesy of TapWalk, for the first time in its history, SPREE will have a mobile app to help attendees navigate the conference, connect with exhibitors, and stay updated about the latest show news.

The SPREE app will include an exhibitor directory, both in list and map views. In the list view, exhibitors will be listed alphabetically and by category. Those using the app will be able to dig deeper into each exhibitor’s entry to see more detailed information. “It provides an enhanced, deeper way to experience a show,” says Schroth.

There will also be a calendar that will have a complete schedule of conference events, and a Twitter tab that will show all the tweets from show attendees. A few additional screens will have general information about the conference. Although it’s a replacement for a paper map, it’s much more than that—it can quickly be updated, and, unlike a hard-copy version, is searchable.

“The mobile app provides fresh information and valuable sponsor visibility in a place attendees are already checking frequently—their handheld device,” says Scott O’Keefe, national account executive at Brede Exposition Services, which is sponsoring the SPREE app. “TapWalk is unique in offering location-based technology, which offers a robust feature list designed to streamline the attendee/sponsor connection: interactive floor plans and partner directories, session planning, news alerts and, eventually, valuable demographic traffic-flow analytics.”

TapWalk will have a booth at SPREE and encourages people with questions to come by. They’ll have Wi-Fi set up in order to download the app for anyone who’s having trouble getting a signal.

For more information about Tapwalk, visit www.tapwalk.com.

Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is a Seattle-based freelance writer who specializes in retail, travel and health topics. Learn more at www.haleyshapley.com.
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