In-store map apps shift stock

27 May 2013

As featured on TM Forum's the Insider blog

OK, so I admit I am a mere male and that shopping is one of life’s more challenging tasks. I’m not talking about going to the hardware store, bricolage or Home Depot, that’s more like a great day out, I’m talking about shopping for clothes, groceries and other mundane items.

My wife, however, does like shopping and can spend countless hours roaming a department store looking for something she really doesn’t need or want. There is nothing more challenging for me than being asked to accompany her on one of her marathon sessions and being asked if this color suits her, or that style works, etc.

When men go into department stores it is a task with purpose that needs to be effected as quickly as is physically possible so they can get on with more ‘important’ things like watching the football game or fiddling around in the garage.

Forgive my indulgence but there is purpose in building up this scene to announce one of the greatest digital services to keep both sides of the shopping camp happy – in-store maps!

No, seriously, Mobile Commerce Dailyreports that “in a sign of the growing role that mobile plays in the in-store shopping experience, more than 12,000 retail locations in the USA, including those of Walgreens and The Home Depot are offering indoor searchable store maps accessible from a smartphone.”

I kid you not. You can now hit the mall armed with the shortest route to any department or item so you can save valuable time not having to do the physical search. Using the in-store mapping platform devised by aisle411, smartphone users can view, search and map products in retail stores. “Users are even able to locate products down to a particular section of each aisle.”

The company describes just how easy this is by offering its indoor map, search and monetization solution to retail partners for integration into digital solutions. The integration process is simple.

1. You send aisle411 your basic data and their proprietary data management and map engine will build data-rich, interactive and searchable indoor maps of your stores.
2. You monetize the solution with the aisle411 context-aware product recommendation engine.
3. This, in turn, drives incremental purchases, increases basket size and accesses brand digital advertising dollars.

Couldn’t be easier right? The article also points out that recent research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that 73% of consumers say they have used their mobile phone while shopping.

Other studies suggest shoppers who use apps in stores are significantly more likely to have made a purchase at one of a retailer’s channels compared to those who do not use apps in store. Additionally, 20% of shoppers leave the store without their full purchase intent, according to an aisle411 survey.

Oh dear, this may not be such a good idea after all. If the ultimate objective is to sell more goods it could negate the time-saving achieved by finding what you want more quickly. There always seems to be a catch but it highlights just how innovative companies have become in taking advantage of this new digital era. What next?

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