The Silicon Review
“Our self-service platform allows retailers to easily design and launch their mobile store, promote it with built-in tools, and analyze the performance.”
mShopper is a Boulder, CO, based provider of mobile marketing and mobile commerce solutions. mShopper offers retailers, agencies, brands and consumer product manufacturers two different services. mPower™ is an award winning, cloud based mobile marketing tool that finally makes it easy for all marketers to brilliantly and correctly market to their mobile customers. The software includes patent-pending tools to quickly build a database of mobile subscribers, and then adroitly engage them using time and/or location as ‘trigger signals’. mStore® is a fourth generation, easy-to-use mobile shopping software solution that allows retailers to create a customized, mobile-first, responsive and feature-packed mobile-commerce site that works beautifully on all smartphones and tablets. MShopper has worked with hundreds of clients including Beretta, Jelly Belly, Woolrich, Aerosoles etc.
mShopper: Mobile Commerce Made Easy
The company was founded in late-2006 by former Virgin Mobile executive David Gould. Gould realized that the next revolution in shopping would happen from increasingly mobile obsessed consumers. In 2007, mShopper launched a price-comparison mobile shopping mall for consumers called PriceCrusher. The company worked with more than 100 retailers of all sizes — from Macy’s, Target, and Office Depot, to small merchants — to source the deals for the mobile mall. mShopper was the first mobile commerce company to aggregate amazing deals from multiple retailers in one mobile-friendly website with a common shopper account for easy checkout and repeat purchases. After inking distribution deals with Sprint® and Verizon®, monthly site traffic soon surpassed 500,000 mobile shoppers as the word spread about an easy-to-use and centralized location for mobile shopping.
Since mobile was just emerging as a marketing and sales channel, retailers turned to mShopper from the beginning to help understand and sell to their mobile shoppers. As a result, mShopper has always been focused on educating retailers on mobile commerce and providing the best practices of selling products to the unique mobile shopper — not just providing world-class technology. With this B2C experience, the company launched mStore in 2010 and then mPower this year to help all businesses offer better and more helpful interactions with their mobile customers.
In Dialogue with the Visionary David Gould, Founder and CEO
Why was the company set-up?
mShopper was set up to help online retailers, service providers, brands and agencies prosper in this brave new world, we call Mobile Commerce. A growing majority of people who are engaging with their companies are doing so, through mobile devices. Our mission is to help our clients succeed in engaging with their mobile customers. We help companies transform how they engage with their customers through their Smart devices.
What are the current challenges in mobile commerce, and how do you contribute to overcome those challenges?
The most important challenge we focus on is helping our clients learn how best to engage their mobile customers. Every CEO, CMO, CIO has been mandated to figure out how best to speak to and engage their mobile customers. Everyone wants to know the answers to these questions. We are obsessed with learning the answers to these questions.
Mobile customers present a whole new array of challenges to the marketers. At the end of the day, we are all mobile customers, and every day we have dozens of ‘micro-moments’. A micro moment is when some random thought, occurrence, or environmental stimulus (think advertisements) causes us to break out our cell phones to seek answers. Research suggests we all experience dozens of these micro moments every day. Some of them are gold mines for marketers while others are wholly inappropriate. The challenge for marketers is to figure out how to ‘be there’ only for the relevant micro moments. By the way, the cost of ‘not being there’ at those all important micro moments is very high. Again, research shows there is no brand loyalty during these micro moments; whoever is ‘there’ with the correct information wins!
What MShopper does better than anyone else is to help our clients and their marketing departments ‘be there’ at only those correct ‘micro-moments’. We call this Micro Moment Marketing™.
mPower is our award winning, mobile marketing cloud that supplies the tools and horsepower marketers need to successfully implement their mobile marketing initiatives. With mPower, brands, agencies and retailers can engage their best customers and prospect at precisely the best time or location. MPower is cloud based, self service, with enterprise class security; it’s really revolutionary. Anything anyone wants to do can be done when it comes to using time and/or location to engage our best customers in a way that is helpful and timely. When done correctly, our clients make their customers’ lives easier (and make a lot of money). That is what we do, and we’ve won many awards as a result.
With market position comes competition. So how do you differentiate your services from them?
There are many people focused on mobile marketing and mobile engagement. We endeavor to distinguish ourselves by being the one provider that has developed something so holistically complete and unique. Everything a marketer needs to win in mobile marketing has been built in. We offer all the necessary features and tools. As an example, have you ever thought about how to create a location based campaign? Most people are not aware of the fact that only downloadable apps from Google Play or the App Store can send continuous location information updates. It’s true. Yes, a mobile optimized website can ask for permission to receive a visitor’s location, but that permission is only relevant for a particular user session; it disappears the moment that person leaves your site. So, in light of the fact that only downloadable apps can be granted ongoing permissions to continuously update a person’s location information, how can anyone without an app launch location based campaigns? It’s a huge problem as there are over 7 million retailers out there and none of them have an app! We solved that problem; that’s a big part of our secret sauce. And that’s what we answer, and in a very cool way!
What are the factors that make your brand unique and innovative?
Great customer service! We are obsessed with service. We are even more obsessed with the emerging school of “Help Based Marketing”. “Focus on obsessively seeking to help your customer.” I can’t tell you how often we repeat this mantra to our clients. We beg, “Don’t focus on how to get more money out of their wallets.” That doesn’t work anymore. Our value proposition is – technology, innovation, ease of use, pricing and great service. And our services group offers access to many man-years of intellectual property and knowledge that we have mastered. We seek always to be unique and on the cutting edge. We seek always to be marketing visionaries and futurists. We see things well. The company prides itself on seeing.
Mastermind behind the Masterstroke
David Gould, Founder and CEO: Gould brings 20 years of senior management, entrepreneurial, and finance experience to mShopper. He previously worked at Virgin Mobile USA and prior to Virgin Mobile, Gould was the CFO for Sundari, Christy Turlington’s Ayurvedic skin care company, and ZelnickMedia, Strauss Zelnick’s (the former CEO of BMG North America Entertainment) latest media venture. Prior to these, Gould spent five years as Chairman and CEO of Imix.com, the Internet’s then leading wholesaler of personalized entertainment content. Previously, Gould was an investment banker with Merrill Lynch, The Apogee Finance Group, and Irving Capital Corporation. Gould received an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Economics from Colgate University.