The Connected Store
Fun, Rewarding Experiences Using Mobile Codes Enabling Consumers to See, Scan, and Save… and Retailers to Benefit From Rich, Real-Time, Secure Behavioral Data
The ConneCTed STore – InTroduCTIon
Retailers today are faced with extraordinary challenges as more and more consumers are turningto smart phone comparison shopping applications from massive e-commerce and m-commerce powerhouses like Google, Amazon, eBay and others. How can retailers use mobile scanning and related applications to attract new customers, keep their existing customers, and build larger repetitive sales – while fending off this growing competitive threat? They must innovate! Great retailers have alwaysinnovated, and the most successful have done so with a deep understanding of their customer’s physical, emotional and financial needs and triggers. Great retailers have built outstanding in-store experiences, with beautiful displays, events, personal service, deals and loyalty programs to name a few. Underneath it all, the best are gathering rich data in closed loop systems that help make them evenBETTER at the retail game. Retailers can use their assets – and that is the unbeatable experience some customers love – touching and feeling the merchandise, enjoying window shopping and browsing, bringing friends along, and making shopping not drudgery – but entertainment! For example, look at how our grocery stores have evolved into beautifully lit places that are more like fine restaurants thanaisles of packaged goods and uninspired produce displays. Look at the growth of large consumer electronics stores, where enthusiastic gadget guys and gals love nothing more than to talk technology. Look at the iconic Apple stores, where Genius Bars have replaced check-out counters, and where everybody from little kids to seniors come in for classes and enjoy not just learning but camaraderie. Theseretailers are also leading the movement toward the connection of the “real world” to the “digital world” using mobile applications – not just scanners – but scanners embedded in
helpful applications that enable consumers to organize their life and enjoy shopping in-store and anywhere. Why? Because they “love the brand” and don’t mind at all carrying it around in their pockets. Nielsen Researchprojects that fifty percent of the US population will own a smartphone by the end of 2011, with two thirds of them researching products and prices online while in stores. Innovative retailers are racing to create compelling in-store shopping experiences to establish and maintain customer loyalty. As the world moves toward the inevitable “conversion” of scanning to learn things and get deals, toactually buying things securely – even more innovation will occur and more sophistication will connect the data flows with sensitive, secure apps that enable a conversation between the mobile device and the Point-Of-Sale systems in stores. In other words – like the DVD? Scan it, buy it, show your receipt at the door. Consumer saves time, retailer saves money, purchase is credited to the store managerand her “P&L” and richer and richer data is collected and used to create even BETTER experiences and MORE PROFIT. The breakout phenomenon of comparison shopping indeed has helped dramatically accelerate the proliferation of many readers and mobile codes with a variety of different implementations. But we are just at the beginning of this, and like many initial accelerators, comparison shopping isalready becoming commoditized, which means retailers can now say – “Sure we do that – but we do a whole lot more to keep our customers happy in store, at home and anywhere they happen to be with their mobile device.” In this white paper, we will provide a brief primer on the history and present state of mobile codes within the retail world, then share some notable innovations.