A new mobile-merchandising solution that allows apparel retailers and brand owners to communicate with consumers as they shop, has been launched by Avery Dennison and Scanbuy Inc.

The solution uses camera phone technology to send purchasing suggestions, images, special offers and virtually any type of promotional messaging to consumers while they are in store.

It can give sales suggestions for accessories or compatible items. For example, scanning a 2D barcode on a red dress can give the shopper images of a model wearing the dress, along with matching shoes, handbag and scarf that are available in the store.

Or it might reveal complementary items available as part of a cross-promotion.

The system connects EZcode (2D barcode) technology on Avery Dennison's line of retail labels with Scanbuy's ScanLife Client application and ScanLife Code Management Platform - thus linking millions of ticketed apparel items directly to mobile information.

"This new solution will enable brand owners and retailers to stand apart in an increasingly competitive environment and more effectively cross-sell complimentary products and services," says Johnathan Bulkeley, chief executive officer of Scanbuy. 

"The information appears on the screen of a consumer's camera phone, turning the device into a kind of personal sales assistant that provides bottom line benefits to retailers of any size, in virtually every worldwide retail segment and location," adds Avery Dennison's Terry Hemmelgarn - group vice president, Retail Information Services.

These benefits are said to include increased units and dollars per transaction, improved traffic and conversion, and promotion of consumer loyalty.

Consumers seeking a second opinion will also be able to forward images to friends and family.

"Ultimately, our solution taps into the expanding needs of consumers for personalised attention and retailers' needs to provide on-the-spot sales messaging," Hemmelgarn says.

Commercial pilots of the mobile merchandising solution will be launched later this year with major retailers and apparel manufacturers.