SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

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Needle Creates a New Mobile Shopping Experience by Putting a Brand’s Best Experts in a Shopper’s Pocket

The empowered shopper has arrived. They are informed, connected, skeptical of marketing messages, and they control when, where and how they engage with a brand. When the opportunity presents itself, companies must be ready to establish an emotional connection and drive a deeper relationship with the customer, in whatever channel and on whatever device the customer chooses. It is a daunting challenge.

Needle is the first and only company to solve this challenge by connecting a brand’s best advocates and customers in real-time for sales conversations. Needle recruits and certifies advocates who are category and product experts, then activates them on Needle’s proprietary advocate marketing platform to have conversations with customers that need help figuring out what to buy. Engagements occur after a shopper accepts a targeted invitation served from the retailer’s site.

With this announcement, Needle’s platform will serve a responsive interface so that these conversations can he had on any device. The interaction is seamless, clean, and has a host of sales-enablement features that can’t be found on any other marketing platform. All engagements – whether they occur on desktops, tablets or smart phones – are measured in detail, and the results are immediate and material.

“The concept is simple but the results are game-changing. Connect a person considering a purchase with someone who is genuinely passionate about the product and the brand. Let them engage in authentic dialogue, then measure the results,” said Morgan Lynch, founder and CEO of Needle. “The most valuable online shoppers are generally using mobile devices, and they want to engage with relevant advocates and experts on their timetable and device of choice. Brands and retailers that don’t provide this type of service will lose out to those that do.”

Norwegian Cruise Line, the cruise travel innovator and Needle client since 2012, has seen a 20% increase in mobile traffic over the last 12 months. “It is the channel where many of our customers initiate their vacation research, and we know that influence will continue to grow over time,” said Rob Casas, Norwegian Cruise Line’s VP of e-Commerce. “Our customers have loved the ability to interact with our brand advocates to help them choose and plan a cruise, so we are excited about extending the phenomenal results we’ve experienced with Needle to all of our digital channels."

The implications of Needle’s updated platform for the in-store environment are also tremendous. Empowered shoppers arrive in a store armed with knowledge, options and a smart phone. Retailers must adapt by seeing this as an opportunity to build trust instead of as a competitive challenge. By enabling a team of on-demand experts, a shopper can now get instantaneous, personalized guidance any time they need it. Through Needle, retailers can effectively bridge their digital and physical environments with empathetic brand experiences that drive loyalty and revenue.

Visit needle.com/responsive to learn more about Needle’s cutting-edge platform and service and how it helps leading brands:

  • Build trust – the #1 reason a customer shops with a brand – by facilitating authentic engagement with people who can make powerful recommendations
  • Create a marketing channel that does what no other channel can do – capture revenue you were never going to get
  • Drive incremental revenue through smart targeting that significantly raises conversion and AOV; conversion over self-service customers is 6-15x higher and 65-90% of the revenue Needle drives is net new.
  • Earn the loyalty and lifetime value of your shoppers by providing an incomparable customer experience that’s unique, personalized and powerful

www.needle.com/responsive

About Needle
Founded in 2010, Needle is the inventor of advocate-assisted commerce. Through its technology and services platform, Needle powers real-time conversations between a company’s certified brand advocates and customers who need help making purchase decisions. It’s a new marketing channel that creates excellent buying experiences and drives significant incremental revenue for innovative brands. For more information about how Needle works and who Needle works for, please visit www.needle.com. Needle is a privately held company based in Salt Lake City.

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