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  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  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 , 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).
 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)
 Mobile in Retail - Getting your retail environment ready for mobile, A GS1 MobileCom White Paper
Cassar, K.: The Online and In-Store Crossover Conundrum. In Nielsen Consumer Insight Magazine, 2008