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Mobile Shopping: More Than Just Cashless Payment

August 21st, 2012 at 4:10 pm
mobile shopping

With the number of options available, wouldn’t it be nice if your smartphone could help you choose?

In our last post, we mentioned that adding functionality to mobile devices to enhance the way we shop seems like the perfect way to encourage merchants and consumers alike to buy into the idea of mobile wallets and cashless payment. These types of features are a win-win situation – customers are happy because they’re saving money, but retailers are happy too because these programs encourage customers to choose their stores over competitors or simply to spend more.

The simplest examples of these benefits include loyalty programs, coupons, and comparison shopping abilities, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other possibilities for enhancing the shopping experience with mobile devices, from cloud-based shopping lists to in-store navigation leading customers to the best deals. Retailers could send notifications to let customers know when an out-of-stock item becomes available again, and customers could scan barcodes to find more information on items they’re considering.

There’s an even more high-tech possibility, too – augmented reality is starting to make its way into smartphones. Augmented reality functions as an information gathering tool, where the user would aim the smartphone’s camera at an object and information about the object will be displayed on the screen.  Customers could use this in stores to determine, for example, the freshness of seafood (assuming it has a proper tag), or to see where the product in question was manufactured.

Mobile devices can also help you shop without even setting foot in a store. In South Korea, supermarket chain Home Plus set up an innovative system that lets consumers do their grocery shopping while waiting for the subway. Subway stations contain walls covered in images of available products, each one with a corresponding QR code. Simply snap a photo of each product you need on your way to work, check out, and the groceries are waiting on your doorstep by the end of the work day. Home Plus saw a 130 percent increase in online sales due to this system!

These are just some of the ways that smartphones can improve upon the way we shop, and chances are there are even more innovative developments around the corner. Integrating functionality like this with cashless payment options is the perfect way to drive sales and increase customer satisfaction!

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