Are You Ready for the New Mobile World?
Last week my friends Jeff and Gillian went to Target to buy their two children some new Dora the Explorer DVD's. Jeff has an iPhone barcode scanner, which allows shoppers to comparison price shop while in stores. Consumers simply scan the product with their iPhone and the app searches from the Web for the best price at other retailers. After scanning the DVD, Jeff and Gillian discovered that Wal-Mart was selling the same one for much less so they hopped in their car, drove down the street, and bought it there.
Welcome to the new mobile world where consumers are savvier than ever and the ability to capture their loyalty and sales in the store will be increasingly challenging. In addition, consumer demand for these types of in-store experiences are also increasing.
According to Nielsen, 51 percent of the population will be carrying a smart phone by the end of 2011. A new Augme Technologies report called "Upward Mobility: Developing an Effective Mobile Shopper Marketing Strategy," mobile shoppers conduct a number of activities from their mobile phones while in stores at least once a month. Some include:
• Use a search engine while shopping (94% heavy mobile users; 40% light mobile users)
• Receive notifications about in-store promotions (85% heavy users: 32 % light users)
• Look up online production information while in store (86% heavy users; 23 % light users)
• Read customer ratings and reviews (86% heavy users; 21% light users)
• Compare products from their mobile phone (83% heavy users;19% light users)
Do retailers have the mechanics and strategies in place to meet this growing demand and enable a seamless, interactive, and personalized experience between the mobile and in-store to prevent consumers like Jeff and Gillian from buying from the competition down the street? From what I can tell, there are a few leaders like Best Buy and Canon that have deployed specialty codes on their shelf talkers to provide digitally, interactive experiences for customers. However, most retailers aren't at the level of Best Buy and Canon, with most still only learning what technologies are available.
But that will soon change, as we will begin to see heavy investments in infrastructures and technologies that support mobile couponing and in-store personalized messaging, as well as greater efforts for channel integration.
To read more about what industry experts have to say about how multichannel retailers must integrate mobile into their customer experience, please check out my article, "Marrying the Mobile and In-Store Experience," on February 14 at www.1to1media.com.
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