STORES - October 2010 - (Page 21)

MOBILE IN RETAIL / COVER STORY he vision of a shopper roaming the aisles, smartphone in hand, receiving targeted messages and relevant coupons is coming into focus more quickly than many anticipated. Customers are using their mobile phones to scan a barcode and perform price comparisons, to read online product reviews while they’re in the store and to check inventory at a nearby location when the item they’re looking for is not in stock. These scenarios are being played out at retail T retail companies in the coming year,” she says. “It’s time for companies in our industry to leverage the potential of social media and mobility.” The fourth channel etailers need to think of mobile “as a unifying technology for stores and e-commerce,” says David Dorf, director of technology strategy for Oracle Retail. “It’s unifying e-commerce and social with bricks-and-mortar, and customers are carrying this mobile infrastructure into stores every day. Mobile is the fourth channel.” of mobile users The flurry of activity in modon’t leave home without bile retail in the United States it, and 42% always have over the past nine months has it within reach. (Planet Retail) been dizzying. Trailblazers like stores across the country, and Best Buy, Pizza Hut, 1-800experts predict similar versions FLOWERS, Wet Seal, J.C. of the story to increase tenfold Penney and Macy’s have set — in the years to come. and then reset — the bar, and BY SUSAN REDA, EDITOR “This is game-changing,” numerous other retailers are he operative word is “transformative.” says retail industry icon Bernie testing the waters. Whether it’s m-commerce, mobile marBrennan, now a consultant and On the technology front, keting or m-payments, the cumulative investor in retail-related technew applications that aid and effect on retail is expected to be revolunology and the co-author of abet mobile marketing and mtionary, not evolutionary. Driven by the widespread Branded! How Retailers Encommerce seem to pop up adoption of smartphones, retailers perceive all gage Consumers with Social daily. There are apps that identhings related to mobile as an opportunity to Media and Mobility, which is tify and reward shoppers as increase sales, lift customer loyalty and satisfacscheduled for release this they walk into a store and othtion and add value to traditional shopping norms. month. “There’s a tendency to ers that allow consumers to equate what’s happening in give and get gift cards, receive Special section sponsored by mobile to the changes brought personalized offers and monion by the Internet, but they’re tor their loyalty programs actually very different. from their mobile devices. “The Internet dragged the There are tools that allow customer along for a while — smartphone users to leverage it was evolutionary,” Brennan says. Here,“consumers are leadsocial features as they shop, and apps that allow consumers to ing the charge. This is happening right before our eyes. We’re make purchases using only their smartphone. standing on the brink of revolutionary change.” Still, industry watchers stop short of heralding the official Lori Schafer, Brennan’s co-author and executive advisor for dawn of the m-commerce age. There are a few major hurdles SAS Institute’s retail practice, is similarly enamored with the to be cleared before mobile retail can achieve hockey stick possibilities that lie ahead. “It’s entirely possible that we’ll see growth capacity, according to Jon Stine, director of the Intera 100 percent increase in the amount of investments made by net business solutions group at Cisco Systems. R 75% T WWW.STORES.ORG STORES / OCTOBER 2010 21 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES - October 2010

STORES - October 2010
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Customer Experience
Game Changer
Power Players
NRFtech Recap
Concept 2 Watch
Customized Shopping
Consumer Behavior
Software & Analytics
Crowd Control
Payment Fraud
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES - October 2010