SmarTone gives retailer customers a Kiss

Staff writer
07 Aug 2015

Hong Kong mobile carrier SmarTone has launched a new service that aims to help retailers in the city expand their reach and drive customer engagement.

The service integrates digital marketing, a loyalty program, data analytics, mobile payment and wallet into one single platform.

SmarTone said the new service, called Kiss, is a ready-to-use marketing platform that allows retailers to create their own mobile storefronts, communicate and interact directly with their customers to gain a deeper understanding of what they want and launch targeted campaigns that are relevant and valued by their customers.

The platform, which is operated by SmarTone subsidiary KissCo Marekting Services Limited, is expected to cost merchants users a few hundred Hong Kong dollars each month, comprises online tools for retailers to create professional-looking mobile shopfronts and tailored proximity messaging campaigns, the Kiss mobile payment terminal.

It also includes analytics and CRM tool for customer data insights, as well as a Bluetooth beacon to be installed at store, which allows merchants to send push notifications, such as a greeting and special offers, in-store or near the store to the smartphones of nearby customers who have activated the Kiss app.

UnionPay International is the launching credit card partner for Kiss, and SmarTone is in talks with Visa and MasterCard to sign up to the platform.

SmarTone chief executive Douglas Li said the new service would be a "game changer for brick and mortar retailers [looking] to expand market reach, as it will prove to be an efficient online-to-offline marketing platform.

“Kiss puts the power back in the hands of the retailers and delivers tangible added benefits to their customers,” Li said yesterday at the launch in Hong Kong.

For consumers, the new service would be “the ultimate shopping partner”, as it enables consumers to get the latest information from their favorite retailers and get cash-off and rewards with every purchase, Li added.

The platform is available free to all consumers across all cellular networks, and on Wi-Fi. It supports both Android and iOS. The Kiss app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

Consumers can also download the Kiss Wallet and Kiss Pay for free. The former is an app that allows consumers to store their credit card details, retailer cash credits and promotional Kiss Dollars on the platform, while the latter allows consumers to pay, redeem and be rewarded for purchases by simply using their smartphones to tap on the Kiss terminal in the store.

SmarTone executive Patrick Chan said the platform is targeting merchant users of all size, especially the medium-sized retail chains that find it hard to compete against larger merchants online.

SmrTone has scheduled yet any official rollout date for the new service until the company gets a critical mass of retailers and outlets as Kiss partners, Chan added.

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