Swarm Web app helps physical retailers combat Amazon deals

swarm logo

Retailers are jumping on the mobile app bandwagon, but it’s impossible to download every single app that your favorite retailers offer. This is where Swarm comes into play. A next-generation shopping aid that doesn’t need to be downloaded, Swarm helps shoppers shop by simply stepping into a participating retail location.

Swarm is the brainchild of former Gannett executives Ryan Denehy, Swarm’s Executive Vice President, and Rudd Davis, Swarm’s CEO, who found a competitive advantage in bypassing the need to download a shopping app in the first place.

“We realized that if we could remove the barrier to entry by eliminating the need to have to download anything, and just create an interactive in-store experience delivered right to someone’s phone, the consumer would win by having an improved in-store experience saving time, saving money,” Denehy explained to Digital Trends.

SWARM Cynergy HomeThe duo developed an in-browser mobile client in HTML5 that prompts a shopper stepping into a participating retailer’s doors with the option to open that retailer’s Swarm app in the mobile browser. The app’s features are tailored to each retailer’s needs, and it’s skinned with the retailer’s branding. If you walk into JCrew, for example, a notification will pop-up on your smartphone and ask you if you’re interested in opening JCrew’s mobile browser app for a 10 percent discount. 

Swarm, for both customers and retailers, is actually an efficient service. The app only pops-up at the physical retail location and provides its users with useful information, like listings of new or discounted products. To help guide shoppers that unsure of which brand to purchase, extra content like product descriptions or reviews from a publisher  (like from Digital Trends, for example) could be fed through Swarm. Then, of course, discounts and promotions will surface through the app based on the aisles that you peruse. Best of all, your data plan won’t be depleted. Swarm uses its own WiFi router that the company provides to every participating retailer.   

Behind the scenes, Swarm isn’t just a browser-based app. In conjunction with the Swarm router that takes just five minutes to install and connects to the retailer’s existing network, there’s also a robust analytic dashboard for participating retailers to track their customer’s shopping habits.

“Our platform allows retailers to identify whether a customer is a first time shopper or a returning user. From there we’re able to offer lots of different features connected to that retailer,” Denehy said.

SWARM Cynergy RewardsSwarm can triangulate every shopper’s position in the store within a couple of feet, and even find out if shoppers are checking Amazon or using a price comparison app while they’re in the store. (A slightly terrifying proposition, if you ask us.) If Swarm detects that a shopper is checking prices on another app, the retailer can then send what Denehy calls a “rescue offer,” which allows the retailer to send that specific user a discount on a particular product in an attempt to entice them to make the purchase within the store.

EBay and Amazon are undoubtedly stiff competitor for brick and mortar retailers, and it doesn’t help that these company’s apps are the top two most used shopping and commerce in the United States, according to a Nielsen poll. While there’s no way to prevent customers from pulling out their smartphones, Swarm just might be a retailer’s last line of defense.

Swarm, which had a soft yet official launch last week, signed up 100 retailers to its pilot program spread throughout three categories: clothing and accessories, footwear, and sporting goods. But that’s not the end of it. Before the holiday season, Swarm will announce several hundred more, including national chains.

Swarm is just one app in a new trend that’s emerging as shopping apps are increasingly becoming a crucial digital companion for the shoppers among us. In fact, in 2012, 47 percent of American smartphone owners have used a shopping app and have accessed these apps on average 17 times, according to Nielsen.

Shoppers may be comforted by the realization that that our shopping experience in the near future will be dynamic. Just as online retailers do now, brick-and-mortar retailers will soon know exactly what we like, purchase (or are hesitant to purchase), and tailor their in-store shopping experience based on our habits. Now bring on the deals.

Emerging Tech

Delivery robots are poised to invade our cities, but are we ready for them?

Across the United States, small startups and big businesses alike are clamoring to swarm city streets with fleets of autonomous delivery robots. The only problem? Our urban areas aren't always well-equipped to accommodate them

Breaking news: Samsung responds to reported Galaxy Fold display issues

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

Having PS4 problems? Check out our solutions to its most common issues

Just because the PlayStation 4 is a remarkable system doesn't mean that it's immune to the occasional hiccup. Lucky for you, we've vetted some of the bigger PS4 problems and found solutions for whatever might ail you.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Smart Home

Whip it, blend it, and mix it up with the best hand mixers of 2019

A stand mixer takes up a lot of room on the counter, and it can also be quite expensive. Need an option that's not only affordable but also takes up very little real estate in your kitchen cabinets? Check out these hand mixers.

Amazon drops prices on Nespresso coffee and espresso machines

Amazon has dropped prices on Nespresso coffee machines and a milk frother in an Easter week sale. Nespresso's coffee appliances use single-serve capsules and one-button selection to produce barista-quality espresso and coffee at home.
Smart Home

Power through your afternoon slump with the best espresso machines

Brew professional-style espresso drinks and become the envy of your neighborhood with one of the best espresso machines on the planet. We have options across a range of price points, perfect for any budget.
Smart Home

Watch: Police responding to an alleged buglary find a Roomba, not a robber

Police officers in Washington County, Oregon responded to a call of a potential burglary and were surprised to find the perpetrator was actually just a Roomba. Body cam footage of the encounter has been released.

Amazon slashes Easter Week prices for Dyson vacuums and air purifiers

Amazon slashed the prices on many Dyson high-tech products, including vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and more for Easter Week. Dyson's premium household tools attract millions of fans and Amazon took deep discounts on popular products.
Smart Home

What you need to know before buying a new washer and dryer

Washers and dryers are big, expensive appliances that you'll want to last for decades. Our buying guide will help you sift through all the options and find the best machines for you.

Amazon and Best Buy halve the price of the Facebook Portal for Mother’s Day

Amazon and Best Buy both cut the price in half for the Facebook Portal smart display for Mother's Day. The Portal's smart camera will follow you as you move around the room during video calls. The Portal also has Amazon Alexa built in.
Smart Home

From the kitchen to the bedroom, here are the best Alexa tips and tricks

Amazon's voice assistant Alexa has plenty of neat skills. So many, in fact, it seems like new ones appear every day. We've rounded up the top Echo tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your virtual assistant.
Smart Home

Ring home security system now works as a hub for smart home devices

Ring is helping the issue of smart home fragmentation with its Works With Ring program. It lets thousands of smart home devices built on Z-Wave connect to Ring's Alarm Base Station.