Using your mobile phone to improve your shopping experience in bricks and mortar stores may not be top of your mind as you leave for the mall, but increasingly people are using their devices to perform many functions often done at the desktop PC - and more. Coupons, advertising, price checkers and product reviews are just a few examples.
The explosion of smartphones and apps, growth of the mobile web, the availability of high-speed mobile broadband networks, and the ever-growing usage of SMS are all offering retailers, brands and merchants new opportunities to communicate with customers and to offer the ability for them to shop by mobile.
Major household brands, retailers and top-tier MNOs are launching mobile marketing campaigns or extending existing campaigns. These companies are seeing the potential of mobile as a retail tool and specifically the potential for targeted and more cost-effective campaigns.
The mobile channel offers merchants the opportunity to differentiate from their competition and acquire customers that become loyal. For brands and retailers, mobile enables them to change campaigns quickly (for example by time of day), and crucially the ability to track success and customer acquisition rates.
For younger people (typically below 35) who organise their lives around their mobiles, using their devices in this way is often an obvious development. Using the mobile in a live shopping situation can be particularly effective - not only for product price comparisons and reviews, but also product browsing, stock checking, payments, loyalty.... and the list of functions keeps growing.