Coming into the holiday shopping season, there has been a lot of talk about consumers utilizing their smartphones and mobile apps for shopping. I think this is a fascinating area with a lot of potential, but for now the number of shoppers actually using their smartphones to make purchases is unimpressive. In my latest Retail Rap column, I discuss the mobile shopping trend, how retailers are embracing it and how they can maximize their efforts moving forward.
To some extent, I understand the excitement. The growing number of mobile apps and mobile device-related retail opportunities are definitely an intriguing development. From promotional to informational and transactional, there are a lot of benefits for both retailers and shoppers. Whether a consumer is reading about a new product online, comparing prices between stores, accessing a special mobile-only coupon or simply purchasing a product online, the flexibility, immediacy, ability to customize and convenience of the mobile channel highlights the fact that this is an area with a ton of potential.
But here’s the thing, it’s mostly still just that: potential. I find the field as fascinating as anyone, but when you look at the actual number of shoppers making purchases from their smartphones, it’s not particularly impressive.
Check out the full article from my recurring column, Retail Rap, at Chain Store Age.