The Role of Mobile in Retail Shopping
Last week I concluded my post by mentioning the potential of mobile devices when we're out and about shopping in stores. Mobile retail can begin pre-purchase with advertising, product searches and product reviews/comparisons. When we get to the store, we might decide to quickly run a price comparison, stock check, use those mobile coupons that we've just received, pay with our phone and - oh - get those loyalty points too. Sent to our device of course. So the mobile has an important role to play in customer acquisition for merchants. Post purchase, then mobile loyalty programmes and messaging and of course advertising clearly have a role to play in retaining customers. Location adds another dimension though. So, I'm in the mall and I see a coffee shop ahead and just fancy that americano. But all of a sudden my GPS based coupons service sends me a coupon for another coffee house. Actually it's 400 yards away and out of sight from where I am. But I can have 25% off that americano, so guess which coffee house I choose? Meanwhile for the merchant, the coupon redemption rate is astronomic compared to regular paper coupons. and the distribution cost is likely to be low - it was an SMS coupon containing a code that I show to the cashier. So we all win. Except the first coffee house of course. But then they'll learn and maybe they'll come up with a better offer!