According to a recent study from the Google Shopper Council, a growing number of mobile shoppers use smartphones as they shop inside a physical store to find more information about products and compare prices. Using a mobile device on the spot to make informed decisions has never been easier as customers’ devices now act as mobile concierges that provide online reviews, price comparisons, and a quick way to pay through mobile payment systems such as Softcard Mobile Wallet.
Savvy retailers see the opportunities and are channeling customers through location-based mobile advertising with the use of apps like shopkick and Foursquare. These and other reward-based apps offer exclusive deals, gift cards or coupons for checking in at a retail location, while building brand loyalty.
Technology, however, is also helping consumers feel better about what they buy. Marketing tech provider Vibes recently found that “among consumers who either texted or scanned a QR code to get more information on a special in-store deal, 42 percent said doing so made them feel better about the purchases they made.”
What’s more, shoppers are benefiting from better customer service as stores are adopting the use of tablets to answer customer questions and speed the checkout process. Vista Retail Support, an IT support company, reported that almost half of the merchants it surveyed are using handheld technology in their stores today.
Indeed, mobile technology is redefining the future of the shopping experience.
This article is part of a series on retail trends in advance of the 2014 National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention being held in New York.