In the last week or so I've observed a couple of separate developments in the rapidly developing mobile retail or shopping market. Firstly Boots
, which is a large UK pharmacy, health and beauty group with over 2,500 stores, said that it is going to launch a mobile-optimised site
platform to increase its competitiveness. Secondly, and as I said not connected as far as I know, came the launch of Mobile Money Network. Monitise Group which is a pioneer in the field of mobile payments and banking, is a partner in the JV. This announcement is "putting the mobile device at the heart of the consumer shopping experience". The aptly named "Simply Tap" service (the name suggests it might involve NFC - possibly in the future??) will enable consumers "with any mobile phone, on any mobile network and with any bank to buy anything from the retailers signed up to the service, wherever they are". Sounds infinitely flexible to me - just what consumers would want. Here's how it works - after registering you see a product you want to buy, you type in the product code into your device and you buy it - there and then, wherever you are. Works for online, print ads, in the shop. Easy. And there are some UK retail industry leaders backing the service. So what do I draw from these two developments? Well the common theme I've picked up here - which is very encouraging - is integration. Mobile in these two examples is not a separate campaign or channel - it's part of the overall channel strategy and this means much greater effectiveness. With corporate brands consistent across channels, and flexibility to conduct transactions across channels, these developments point the direction for the future impact of mobile in our bricks and mortar stores and indeed regular shopping experience.