Not All Retailers Overreacting To Mobile Phone Wielding Shoppers
from the nice-to-see dept
The WSJ recently had an article about how shoppers in retail stores are increasingly wielding smartphones which they use to comparison shop on the fly — sometimes even buying products online for less while standing in the store looking at the products themselves. While some store owners are definitely freaked out about this, the article did point out that some are recognizing this is actually an opportunity to either poach customers from other stores and/or to entice them with more offers directly:
Through a partnership with TheFind, Best Buy now targets personalized advertisements to shoppers when the program detects that they are in stores such as Wal-Mart.
If shoppers use TheFind’s free app to compare prices on TVs at Wal-Mart, for example, the phone gleans the particulars from their recent search and shows them ads of similar electronics for sale at Best Buy. The items aren’t always identical, and the prices aren’t always better, but it is an attempt by Best Buy to enter the competition, similar to the way that marketers now target special offers to consumers based on what they are searching for on home computers.
The hard sell doesn’t stop there. If a customer inside a Best Buy compares prices through TheFind and discovers a better deal elsewhere, the retailer also makes one last pitch for the sale with ads showing them deals on other products at the store, such as a similar Blu-ray player that comes with a free movie disc.
Elsewhere in the article, it’s noted that shoppers with mobile phones often are much more happy to ask questions via their phone and a browser or app, rather than having to talk to someone in the store, which also suggests that stores might not need to staff as many people to help customers.
Of course, some of what’s in the article sounds like it may be wishful thinking. I’m not sure that all of those localized offers will really work all that well, but at the very least it’s a starting point, and it’s nice to see Best Buy at least trying to embrace the new technology rather than just fight it.