Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mobile Services in Retail: Opportunity or Threat?

As we have been developing several services in the past (e.g. my2cents, APriori) putting more information about products at the consumers' fingertips, I also stumbled over some critics. Tim O'Reilly has put out "buy where you shop" in a recent blog entry. As consumers could abuse and ruin the small shops providing the nice physical experience of the product but don't get a share if you decide to still buy the product online. However, other approaches [1] propose to combine both worlds and to provide benefit both instead of cannibalizing each other: physical stores become showrooms for online stores and receive a share of the online purchase as a reward.
To that point GS1's MobileCommerce group has yet released another whitepaper [2] outline the various opportunities for retailers to attract customers using mobile technologies.
Focussing on hybrid shopping, i.e. the combination of both online and physical stores [3], is probably more promissing, as consumers probably will never realize the long-term implications (i.e. small shops have to close due to competion from e-tailers).

[1] Lee, K.J., Seo, Y.H.: Design of a RFID-Based Ubiquitous Comparison Shopping System. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Knowledge-Based Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems (KES’06) (2006)
[2] Mobile in Retail - Getting your retail environment ready for mobile, A GS1 MobileCom White Paper
[3]Cassar, K.: The Online and In-Store Crossover Conundrum. In Nielsen Consumer Insight Magazine, 2008


Jay Parmar said...

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LargelyPolitical said...

I think this presents a real opportunity for retail to reinvent itself. Here is an article that articulates some of the details of this trend.