OBI Creative developing high-tech shopping experience

May 22, 2012 in Blog, The Work

Developers are looking to revamp a shopping center in Gretna, Neb. which sits between the state’s two largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln. Previously the Nebraska Crossing Outlet has struggled to attract shoppers. This last week developers announced that they have enough committed retailers to revamp the shopping outlet into a new high-tech destination shopping experience.

OBI Creative has the high-tech handled.

The developers, in collaboration with OBI, will launch “INlet,” a next-generation approach to connect shoppers to discounts and promotions. INlet will also help shoppers find available parking spots and also get dining offers all via their mobile phones.  The collaboration with OBI Creative is part of a $15 million investment by the developers for  software and hardware platforms to create a new shopping experience for consumers.

The developers behind the project are Rod Yates of OTB Destination, based out of Park City, Utah, and Frank Krejci of Omaha’s Century Development.  They told the Omaha World-Herald that the development has attracted 30 outlet brands that are new to Nebraska. The stores to inhabit the re-imagined shopping center, which will undergo a $70 million redevelopment, will be revealed in phases this summer.

Those stores already committed to opening in the Nebraska Crossing Outlets for fall 2013 include Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Chico’s, Gap, Lane Bryant, and White House Black Market.

OBI Creative’s CEO Mary Ann O’Brien told the World-Herald that the vision is to “out-position” traditional retailers by focusing on consumer behavior and technology. Yates described the INlet technology as the “Amazon model for brick-and-mortar retail.” OBI Creative has helped numerous companies identify consumer habits by performing our o.VoC (O’Brien Voice of the Customer) study. With OBI’s help, the INlet  technology will recognize a shopper’s profile and preferences through their mobile device and direct them to the best parking spot while also sending them customized promotions from their favorite brands.

INlet will also help curtail shoppers from looking in-store and later buying cheaper online. Shoppers can take a picture of products and do comparison shopping online. If they do find a cheaper option online, the technology will allow the store they are shopping in to extend a special offer to entice the consumer to purchase from them.

Experts predict that the technology and marketing for the new Nebraska Crossing Outlets should attract shoppers from a 200-mile area, including Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas and across Nebraska.