The age of mobility is upon us and there’s no way around it for shoppers or retailers. For shoppers, the ability to instantly compare prices within the boundaries of one store is a great way to save money and for retailers, the ways to reach customers are getting more in-depth and personalized than ever.
Shoppers are literally able to shop 24/7 in just about any location – including retail stores. What’s great for the consumer may not be great for brick-and-mortar retailers that could lose money to a cheaper price in a store just down the road; a new term called “scan and scram shopping.”
While this could be a scary prospect for many retailers, it can also be a leg up on the competition when the technology is leveraged correctly. Things like location-based marketing can tell when customers are geographically close to a store and sent them text messaging about sales and promotions, which could be very effective.
The key to gaining success from this new, always-connected society is simple; don’t ignore it. Experts are predicting that this new era of shopping will be “a lot bigger than even e-commerce.” Businesses are already paying for their lack of foresight into e-commerce and mobile retailing options.
And even though mobile consumers are in the minority, the focus is on the potential of the entire movement of smartphone technology. Analysts are predicting that by the end of this year, more than half of cell phone users will be using a smartphone.
With the endless ways for retailers and consumers to utilize this mobile world, the key will be for retailers to execute their mobile strategies with excellence – with a strong, solid and adaptable infrastructure in place to handle mobile, online and in-store shopping seamlessly while tying in inventory to all three channels.
Source: stltoday.com, February 2011