Foursquare Aims At Feature Phone Users With Nokia App

Foursquare unveiled a new app yesterday designed for feature phones – specifically Nokia’s Series 40 handsets. Feature phones are popular amongst non-tech savvy users looking for a simpler product, as well as abroad in developing markets; indeed, in 2011, feature phones accounted for 70% of mobile phone sales worldwide, and Nokia says it sold 1.5 billion units of these S40 phones. Foursquare is trying to edge into this market by getting its service pre-loaded on new devices when they hit the market in several months – and hopes to make checking in a fact of life for the many people who are just getting used to technology in their lives. 

Amazon Introduces Gift Card Sharing

Amazon’s Friends and Family Gifting feature gets more social today with the launch of a tool that allows users to create and send group gift cards to your Facebook friends for their birthdays. By connecting Facebook and Amazon accounts, it’s easy to prepare birthday gift cards in advance, and participants can contribute as little as $1 or as much as $25 of yet. The gift card is delivered to the recipient’s Facebook wall on their birthday. It’s a new, foolproof way to ensure that you never miss a friend’s birthday again. 

STORY Shifts Retail Concepts

In her talk at the PSFK Conference, Rachel Shechtman described what she termed ‘Retail Media’ with respect to he Brick and Mortar ‘experience,’ STORY. The multi-media concept combines curation and editorial content with more traditional retail structures. Most simply, Shechtman curates her physical locations much like a magazine that changes themes and covers every four to eight weeks. In the same way, Shechtman tells a different STORY in a different location, with a new theme, and ultimately, new products in the same production cycle. This offers a discovery platform combined with content, commerce, and community, that revolves around a physical entity. Recent variations and space utilizations have included Wellness, Color, Making Things, and Art. And ultimately, the consumer doesn’t know what will be next, so they’re constantly enticed back a few weeks later to experience the next story.

Startup Nifti Lets Users Set Their Price

New ecommerce startup Nifti has launched with an interesting approach to pricing. Integrating with over 200 sites, Nifti lets users set the price they are willing to pay for products via a bookmarklet and are notified when they reach that threshold.  We’ve seen Amazon’s price check app disrupt the retail space and Nifti is just another example of savvy shoppers looking for the best deals.

Lowe’s Uses Vine For Spring Campaign

Many marketers have experimented with Vine thus far, but none have fully embraced the six second video medium for a full fledged campaign. This spring, though, Lowe’s is doing just that. The home improvement retailer has put out dozens of Vines featuring home improvement tips; some of the most popular include how to remove a stripped screw, how to get rust off knives, and how to use pillow cases to organize sheets. Vine, for Lowe’s, simply provided the perfect medium to make them sharable, and simultaneously show off their products at work. It has created a very wide body of work very quickly for very little money, and thus far the results have been very promising for the company. It remains to be seen if this strategy will be broadly applicable to other brands, but for a social medium that is only three months old, having a full fledged media campaign isn’t a bad start at all.  

Facebook To Advertise Based On Offline Habits

Starting today, Facebook will be able to target some of its advertising based on offline habits as a result of new partnerships announced today with Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon that will apply their records about purchase histories to Facebook’s Custom Audience’s product. Custom Audience allows advertisers identify Facebook users by their Facebook ID, phone number, or email, and now advertisers can match that information with data from these firms, gathered from customer loyalty programs. Businesses, Facebooks says, can now target categories like soda drinkers or auto intenders. However, as with any Facebook ad, the user can opt out at any chosen time. 

Samsung Puts NFC Stickers in Samsung Coffee Chain

In an effort to increase NFC adoption in Singapore, Samsung has placed NFC stickers in all 51 Singapore outlets of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, prompting users to tap a poster and like the brand’s Facebook page for a free drink upgrade.  The promotion runs until March 7, and is just another part of Singapore’s attempt at building a thriving NFC ecosystem including a nationally standardized touchless payment system.  So far, adoption rates have been low, but perhaps this short promotion with Samsung backing could tip the trend.