Retail Mobile Applications

January 30, 2012

Engage, POS, Technology, Uncategorized

Stop !  As a consumer I really do not want to download your mobile application, and I am pretty sure I will uninstall it as soon as I leave the store..well maybe not the Android or Zappo application, but pretty much nearly everyone else is headed the uninstall route as soon as I am done using it. In any case, why do you want spend all that money to get me to download your app, do you really plan on doing something with it or is it just really really cool to have your branded app downloaded a zillion times?

The other #fail that I see is how every retailer asks for a mobile POS application, when what they really mean to ask for is an application that runs on their mobile device. Why I ask and I’m invariably told for line busting!  At the risk of sounding restating f what I posted in Point of Interaction the real driver on mobile apps is how they change the way the retailer will interact with the consumer, ultimately changing how commerce is done in store.

Mobile applications should look beyond the POS,  frequently their main purpose is to ring up sales and track inventory, they should be used to offer as much insight as possible into the products that a retailer carries as well as into the consumers public profile.   In the mid 90s whilst the leading book sellers were using the web to post their address, phone numbers and hours, Amazon used it to change the way commerce was done, they gave customers insight into their products as well as provided them relevant up sell and cross sell information. They took risks and eventually dominated the market.  Similarly in this new  world of digitally empowered consumers, the landscape will change and the risk takers and those who successfully change the way commerce is done will be rewarded.  Adopting a wait-and-see attitude may be convenient in the short-term, but may come at the expense of survival and growth. In doubt, think  about Amazon and Borders.

It is said that today’s consumer is not longer identified as Gen Y,  they are now identified as Gen C – the connected generation, they know everything they want to know of products they are interested, they have opinions that they have shared, or have seen what their friends have shared.  They have read reviews, and when they have a good experience they share it and when they have a bad experience they share it.  They are connected!   The Mobile POS must make all that possible so that the store associate and consumer can communicate intelligently.

Times have changed  and the way SMB retailers need to operate a successful business has changed as well. It’s no longer just about the POS, it’s no longer just about the payment processing  or counting widgets, its about the software technology that will allow businesses to uniquely interact with their products, their customers, their buying patterns and the data!   The wait and see attitude on   implementing Cloud Commerce technology hinders your growth.  Given the affordability of cloud commerce, SMB retailers can take advantage of this technology to engage and connect with consumers even before many larger retail establishments are able to implement the most current features to engage and connect to their consumers.

About Kevin

1001 opinions on how retailers leverage data to manage their inventory, employees, supply chain and optimize their customers' experiences. Have equally as many about red liquid in wine bottles, especially those from Napa Valley and the Santa Rita Hills.

View all posts by Kevin


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