Scanning and Tapping into Holiday Shopping
For those of us over this side of the pond, the US “holiday” mobile shopping predictions we get asked for (i.e. Black Friday and Cyber Monday) are rather hard to handle as Thanksgiving doesn’t happen over here, perhaps for obvious reasons. However, we do associate shopping with the Christmas season and this year there is a “new kid on the mobile shopping block”. It’s illustrated by eBay’s venture into what we call mobile microstores. In October, eBay announced a trial of around a week in November of its “Inspiration Shop” in New York where consumers could purchase products by scanning QR codes from a shop window and have them delivered to their home. Now eBay have announced a similar trial in London in December, known as a “QR Emporium”. These mobile microstores are a novel concept, but not new - there are a number of variants we have seen around the world, notably in Korea and also in France. Most use QR codes but some use NFC, which ultimately should provide a better shopping experience. For more on mobile microstores, NFC shopping and the new breed of “clicks-and-bricks” retailers, see our latest Mobile Retail Marketing Report: Advertising, Coupons & NFC Shopping 2011-2016. But, it should be remembered, that these are still trials, although eBay seem to have pitched them at peak shopping periods (allowing time for delivery before the holidays). Will this catch on? It remains to be seen, but it certainly will make the shopping experience more varied. It will be interesting to see what products eBay select to put in their “shop window”. The key factor seems to be price as eBay says there will be a “huge selection of top gifts from leading brands,” at up to 70% off. Meanwhile the uninitiated tourists of New York and London are probably wondering why so many local shoppers are taking photographs of their own shop windows!