The internet revolutionized shopping over the past ten years by breaking down the walls of the store, allowing shoppers to access the store 24/7, compare products and prices across retailers, get feedback on product performance through on-line reviews and to make a purchase and have product delivered directly to their door.
Music, books, video, travel and banking will never be the same.
Mobile phones, and smartphones in particular are the next game changer in retail. These devices bring the power of the internet right into the store and shoppers often know more about their potential purchase than in-store staff.
Those retailers (and suppliers) that choose to embrace this next wave of technology hitting the store will be among the retailers that win with the shopper in the next decade.
To help shoppers best experience retail with their mobile device, retailers have started to (slowly) launch mobile apps that create a branded portal to shopping for the mobile savvy shopper. To be honest, most are very basic and disappointing – although in Canada there are some emerging stars.
Can you imagine a retailer without a website? That would be absurd (although they do exist)!
It will be just as absurd to not develop a mobile shopping app that allows shoppers to become part of your store when they are in the aisles or in their home. This is the time to “jump-in” with both feet and make a big splash.
Smartphone penetration is growing everyday. Other devices such as iPads and PlayBooks will follow closely behind.
Does your store have free wifi access? Do you have a mobile app? Is your website formatted for mobile devices (at the very least)?
This review looks at eleven mobile apps developed by Canadian retailers to support mobile shopping.
Of the major mobile platforms, the Apple OS which supports iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad has the widest range of mobile apps and our review has focused solely on this range of mobile shopping apps.
We hope you enjoy this report and that it stirs the Canadian retailer / supplier community to take a second look at their efforts in mobile apps and make a quantum leap to get ahead in this emerging competitive world of mobile shopping.
Download the full report here.