An App for That, Too: How Mobile Is Changing Shopping
These Six Products Give Retailers a Reason to Be Excited About the Platform
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Mobile phones are fast becoming the way consumers find coupons, research products, compare prices and make purchases. It makes shopping easier for consumers, but that doesn’t mean retailers are thrilled at the prospect of consumers consulting mobile phones from their aisles — after all, does Best Buy want you to know that the item in your cart can be had cheaper at Amazon — and purchased right now on your phone?
“There is fear, but it is the new reality,” said Dan Butcher, a reporter at Mobile Marketer. “Retailers are becoming aware that consumers are using their phones in the store to make decisions. They’re realizing that they need to support that platform.”
Indeed, retailers who don’t embrace the technology now will be left to play catch-up in the years to come. But there is reason for retailers to be excited about the shifting mobile landscape. Many of the mobile applications coming onto the market actually benefit bricks-and-mortar retail by improving the in-store experience or driving traffic to stores that are either nearby or boast the best deals.
There are dozens of retail-related mobile applications on the market today, making it impossible to highlight them all. Here are half a dozen that stand out for the impact they’re having on the way consumers shop.
WHAT IT DOES: This iPhone and iPod Touch app provides interactive maps of malls, highlighting elevators and the quickest route to stores, as well as helping shoppers find food vendors and remember where their cars are parked. A shake of the phone turns up the nearest restroom location. Shoppers can also make lists and access coupons.
WORTH WATCHING: The death of the mall has been touted over and over during the last decade. And while it’s true that shoppers are turning to new formats or going online, all many of them want is a simpler shopping experience. Making mall shopping easier and more interactive through mobile apps has the potential to win over some consumers.
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