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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 06, 2012

Expert: Merchants can improve customer service via mobile

Merchants may not have seen a lot of purchases made through mobile over the 2011 holidays, but there was a definite upsurge in mobile traffic - which is usually the precursor to an uptick in conversions. One new tool, AisleBuyer's mPromo, allows merchants to target consumers in-store through relevant content served via mobile devices.

by Kristina Knight

Through the mPromo platform relevant products, sales and other information can be served to consumers in-store as they scan items with their mobile devices. With the use of QR codes and scanning devices growing, this is one unique way merchants can engage shoppers.

Kristina: How important is mobile becoming for brick-and-mortar merchants?

Andrew Paradise, AisleBuyer CEO: Mobile is quickly becoming a crucial component for brick-and-mortar retailers. There has been a lot of research published recently that indicates that consumers are not only shopping from their phone, but are using their phones as a resource while they are in the store to look up reviews, compare products and search for deals. For retailers that are looking for new ways to enhance the in-store shopping experience, mobile is key. By bringing the benefits of online shopping inside the store with a mobile application, retailers are able to differentiate themselves from the competition with unparalleled customer service for the busy consumer.

Kristina: Is 2012 the year merchants rapidly adopt in-store apps for mobile sites?

Andrew: In December, we conducted a survey of retailers to find out just how important mobile will be in the next year. While only 14% of respondents said they currently have a mobile application for in-store use, 50% of those who do not said they plan to introduce a shopping app in 2012. Some of the features they plan for those apps include mobile self-checkout, mobile promotions and a tablet-based store associate app for retail employees.

Kristina: What are some interesting ways you're seeing merchants incorporate mobile into their system?

Andrew: One of the most forward-thinking ways retailers are using mobile is for self-checkout. By allowing customers to scan product barcodes to read information, customer reviews and actually pay and check out from a mobile device, retailers create a more satisfying in-store experience that is personalized and fast. Giving shoppers the gift of time is invaluable, so allowing them to skip lengthy checkout lines with a mobile application creates a better shopping experience for the customer and gives the retailer a competitive advantage to improve customer loyalty.

Tags: AisleBuyer, Andrew Paradise, m:commerce, mobile commerce, mobile shopping, mobile trends, mPromo

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