The fact that customers are up to date with the devices they are looking for as well as what is coming to market, is going to be a notable element to the upcoming Christmas season. A study conducted in the US by Mobile Marketing Association found that 59% of mobile consumers plan to use their smartphone and its applicable applications to shop and plan this season, and 64% plan to research deals and offers on devices before they head to stores (Eric Zimmerman).
In addition to scoping out the latest deals and information, the emergence of more Smartphone users this year, will mean that these consumers are utilitzing their devices to assist with the busy shopping weeks ahead. With applications available to help them find their cars, stores within their favourite malls, and barcode scanners to assist with comparison shopping, there is everything people need to get their shopping done effectively and efficiently.
Somewhat ironic, is the fact that retailers have been slow to adopt the shopping applications, such as mobile coupons or store websites that are not designed to work on mobile devices. In order to keep up with their tech-savvy customers, Softwareadvice.com has suggested five applications that retailers should look to work with:
- Foursquare currently leads the way, with the ability to log in to various locations in order to obtain points, badges and mayorships
- With the ability to link these applications to other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, consumers then have the ability to show their friends where they are shopping
- This is another geolocation app that alerts customers as they walk past or near an eligible business location
- Messages about these locations can include promotions, sales, coupons etc.
- According to ScanLife, barcode scanning is up 700% in 2010
- Applications include ShopSavvy, Checkpoints, ShopKick, and RedLaser (who currently holds the leadership spot for this type of mobile application)
- Groupon is looking to be the fastest growing company of the year, and is expected to rake in $500 million in sales in 2010 - not bad for a 17 month old company!
- Groupon presents a special deal per day in a consumers shopping city, and requires a certain number of customers to purchase the deal in order for it to become effective - this encourages those interested in the deal to promote it to their friends, families and social networks
- This is a specific application that allows retailers to "track every product on every shelf in store in real time."
- This means that the website will show users where a particular product is carried in stock, how much it is in store, and how much it is online - a true comparison tool.
- This raises the bar for traditional competition between brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce retailers