Smartphones for smarter shopping
When describing the process, I was thinking of the $50 to $2,000 purchase, where a saving of 5% to 10% is meaningful to the shopper. However, last week my brother took his smartphone shopping for a more expensive purchase. In fact, he made two expensive purchases, in two weeks – two motorcycles – a road bike for himself and a dirt bike for his kids.
Walking into one dealership armed with a price from another dealership (in a different state) saved him over $1,000 on the cost of the road bike. But in this case, while he shared the price with the dealer in his home town, it was the dealer 1,500km up the coast that took the order and shipped the bike to his home.
The next week, again armed with a price from a dealership only 300km away, the local dealer shaved $500 off a dirt bike and took the sale there and then... but only after the dealer had actually seen the deal on my brother's smartphone. When it comes to doing a comparative deal, seeing truly is believing.
While this was a classic example of 'online pre-shopping' and 'in-store online price comparing', driven by the switched on and savvy shopper, the smartphone will now feed deals to more lazy shoppers.
Companies like Creative Licence Digital are developing location-based services that push offers to your smartphone, so long as you have downloaded the app. While the idea of letting you know that you are physically close to offers via your phone is not new. It is now just more refined.
Back in the day, our bluetooth enabled GSM phones were able to be bombarded with text messages when they came within physical range of location-based offers. These caused phones to beep madly and fill inboxes with offers that users didn't even want.
However, downloading an app like CLD's Quicker Feet, shows a clear decision by the shopper and sends the message to the retailer that the shopper wants to be told what's on special or on offer, in a much more targeted and relevant way.
All of these moves in technology, which are driven by eponymous wireless access to the internet on ever easier-to-use mobile devices, are enabled by more clever and more shopper-focused apps that meld the online and physical shopping experiences.
And as shoppers we aren't questioning it, just adopting it. As we always have done, and will forever do.
In his role as CEO of CROSSMARK, Kevin Moore looks at the world of retailing from grocery to pharmacy, bottle shops to car dealers, corner store to department stores. In this insightful blog, Kevin covers retail news, ideas, companies and emerging opportunities in Australia, NZ, the US and Europe. His international career in sales and marketing has seen him responsible for business in over 40 countries, which has earned him grey hair and a wealth of expertise in international retailers and brands. CROSSMARK Asia Pacific is Australasia's largest provider of retail marketing services, consulting to and servicing some of Australasia's biggest retailers and manufacturers.