Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Smartphones Hit In-Store Retail Shopping

As more and more smartphone owners discover the utility of scanning a product barcode to find the best prices (online and in stores), in-store retailers need to find ways to embrace this new way of shopping (as reported by E-marketer). Indeed it can be a competitive threat to a store but, there is also opportunity if stores stop fearing technology.

Research firm Compete found that 41% of iPhone users and 43% of Android users do compare prices online.

What's the solution?
Retailers should develop their online presence to include lots of information and reviews on the product, and develop easy mobile access to it. This helps the customer feel more comfortable to purchase from the bricks and mortar store and hence fosters loyalty

Julia Bornstein, senior VP of Sephora Direct, a beauty products retailer said: "We’ve found that the mobile site is driving sales in stores. It’s keeping some customers in stores longer by giving them all this information at their fingertips."

All the major bricks and mortar retailers now also sell online, so a mobile access implementation should not require a major investment or upheaval to the current business model.

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