Could PowaTag become the next Facebook or Google?

British start-up PowaTag – which allows consumers to buy products instantly with a smartphone – has launched with a string of retailers on board.

240 brands including Harper-Collins, Argos, Reebok, Adidas and Carrefour are all in partnership with the app which allows firms to target consumers with special offers at any time. The technology – which uses QR codes to enable instant purchases – allows products to be bought from a shop window when a store is closed or have goods delivered when sizes are out of stock.

CEO of PowaTag Dan Wagner has been working on the technology for nine years and says the company could become another Facebook or Google.

“I accept that this is a hugely ambitious task but somebody‘s got to do it and there‘s no reason why it has to be yet another Silicon Valley start-up,” he told The Telegraph.

Jerry Sheldon, retail analyst at IHL group says he saw the technology conceptually as a great product search tool, but did not see it as a natural bridge as the de factor tool for completing purchases.

“The concept of PowaTag is quite powerful in that they are making the “find” step easier. This is only the first step. It remains to be seen how they can compete on price, fulfilment and overall customer service,” he told Retail Gazette.

The technology raises questions of why a manufacture would choose direct to customer versus through a middleman but Sheldon believes the technology could improve margin.

“There is never reward without exposure to risk,” he added. “The challenge for a manufacturer though is that you now need the internal systems and people to process outgoing direct orders as well as returns. With there being more “customers,” there is the potential requirement for additional call centre support as well.”


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