This morning I read an article written by Ben Lee of Smartsoft Mobile Solutions called Mobile Application Use for On-site Retail. Ben describes how a number of different retailers have incorporated mobile applications, barcode, QR codes and scanning software into their strategies.
One of the most interesting points that Ben highlights in his article is from Pew Research. They find that, “interaction on-site between a customer and product using a mobile device increases conversion 30 percent." That is bound to get retailers attention.
In another article I read this morning, Canyon Country Car Wash using an SMS text message marketing campaign encourages people to text them for a mobile coupon for a discount on their car wash. The text message numbers are captured, the mobile coupon is sent and Canyon Country Car Wash is now able to interact with their customer base.
The results: Two out of five customers walking through the door inquire about mobile coupons. Redemption rate is at 40 percent and increasing.
In another example that Ben Lee writes about he shares how the Starbuck's mobile application works inside a Starbuck's establishment. "The Starbucks Mobile Card application is available for the iPhone 3/4G. This application acts as a pre-paid credit card, allowing a user to fill (load) the app with real money, to be spent at participating stores. The customer simply orders a coffee, holds their Smartphone up to the register, and a 2D barcode displayed on the device is scanned. The account is debited."
What is quickly apparent to me is that this is a big deal for retailers. If more market and research numbers continue to support the benefits of interacting with customers using mobile retailing applications, then all retailers are going to jump on the bandwagon.
I can tell you that my lovely wife is constantly using her iPhone 4G to access product information, reviews, etc. The more retailers that support in-store product features the better.
Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.