from San Jose Mercury News 26 Nov 13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Couch Commerce continued
And they’re not only buying only CDs, books or cheap Secret Santa gifts; PayPal reports shoppers are also buying diamond bracelets from their Smart-Phones. Retailers – that have evolved with their high-tech consumers – are rolling out mobile sites that load quicker & fit inside a Smart-Phone screen, + apps that offer more perks & services than a shopper may get in the store, experts say. Macy’s app gives consumer access to videos, product reviews, gift registries, instant coupons & a mobile payments system. The Disney Store recently re-launched its app to send messages to shoppers on their mobile devices offering exclusive discounts.
More “In-Store” Mobile Features. And to encourage shoppers to bring their Tablets from the couch to the store, retailers have created mobile features that make the in-store shopping experience quicker & easier. Nordstrom offers mobile checkout, much like Apple stores. Other stores provide customers with Tablets to browse the entire store inventory and apps for in-store navigation, so shoppers don’t have to search for items. Toys R Us has built an app that lets shoppers — or their children — use a Smart-Phone to scan the barcode on items to create a Christmas list. Toys R Us will also match a competitor’s prices, if shoppers come into the store and show the advertisement on their Smart-Phone.
“Mobile commerce is our most rapidly-growing Distribution channel,” said a ToysRus spokeswoman. A VP of Marketing at Mobidia (which tracks app use among 2 million mobile users worldwide), said mobile apps from big brands, such as Walmart, Best Buy & The Gap, are used as frequently among the consumers who download them, as any other app on their phone — except for Facebook & Twitter. Still, while the number of Retail apps is on the rise, some niche & high-end brands are just starting to tap the mobile market. Some are hiring Silicon Valley tech companies to build their apps, while others have scraped together resources to build their own. To build a good mobile app takes a significant investment — $50,000 to $100,000 at the low end.
Reaching out to Small Business. Cost is one reason many Mom-&-Pop stores + Small Chains haven’t made the leap to mobile. Another is that selling to customers on mobile, also requires that merchants know exactly how much inventory they have at any given time, a challenge that even giants such as Google and Walmart have struggled with. “They are feeling pressure, but in general, have they been able to adapt?” “The smaller retailers, probably not.”
Comments: What do you think? Where will you shop or pre-shop?