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That’s what friends are for

Whatser is a new mobile app that can recommend stores based on the opinions of each user’s friends.

Retailers are quickly noticing the benefits of using social sites to attract and retain a new audience and G-Star’s recent collaboration with Whatser is yet another example of how this can work.

Whatser is a platform which allows users to save their favourite places (such as restaurants, bars or stores) and share them with friends. In a similar concept
to social networking site Foursquare, Whatser believes that what makes it different is that rather than sharing their location, people use it to find out where their friends recommend visiting.

Whatser co-founder Michiel Verberg explains: “The future of location-based services will not be about people revealing their location but about making information more relevant and trustworthy. If a friend suggests a place to go, that is something you can trust.”

When users log on to Whatser on their mobile they can get suggestions about where to go based on location and places their friends recommend. Users can become ‘fans’ of retailers and retailers can then send fans updates and offers.

Because of the location element and integration with mobile, retailers can push offers out to potential customers that are in the vicinity of a store. Retailers can also push QR codes out to fans which can be redeemed in store.

Whatser has more than 20,000 registered users across Europe and denim brand G-Star believes it has definite potential to drive footfall into stores. G-Star chief marketing officer Joris Aperghis says: “Whatser is bridging the gap between the physical and digital space. Whatser makes it easier for people to find their way to our stores. We open 50 franchise stores across the world each year, so it’s very relevant to inform our fans when they are in the vicinity. Relevancy and seduction are critical.”

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