Augmenting the Mobile Shopping Experience

The verdict is still out in terms of what kinds of interactions mobile shoppers will ultimately experience in stores, but new ideas keep coming.

For example, QR codes can be used to quickly link videos and contests to consumers as well as trigger SMS messages and launch in-store interactivity.

Besides codes and text messages, I have to wonder what role augmented reality (AR) might eventually play.

We’ll be exploring this aspect later this week at MediaPost’s Mobile Insider summit in Florida in a panel on the age of augmented retailing I’ll be moderating.

Speaking with the panelists in advance shows there’s a very wide range of approaches and success metrics associated with enhancing the in-store experience.

Just as many decision-makers fell in love with using QR codes, it looks like AR is being tapped to entertain or least intrigue the mobilized shopper.

All shoppers obviously don’t scan codes of any type while shopping and some likely never will. The same will undoubtedly be true with augmented reality, with some experiencing it and others not.

Much of the current AR activity is being introduced to consumers through print publications with various pages being AR enabled, allowing readers to receive more information instantly or to quickly purchase.

Enhancing the shopping experience via mobile can entail many different forms, including text messaging, MMS, location-based advertising, on-the-spot deals, purchase rewards and even augmented reality.

Of course, effective in-store Wi-Fi, which some retailers are finally embracing, is needed along with a strong consumer value proposition and sensible ROI metrics for the retailer.

How, if at all, do you see AR being deployed at retail?

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4 comments about "Augmenting the Mobile Shopping Experience".
  1. Hunter Madsen from ChoozOn Corporation , February 11, 2013 at 3:35 p.m.
    Chuck, it's debatable whether this solution is better described as AR or as something else but, at CES a few weeks ago, Qualcomm Labs was doing demos of the innovative shopping app that it co-developed with my company (formerly ChoozOn, now Blue Kangaroo). The Blue Kangaroo app is built for shopping context-awareness. Among other useful abilities, the app notices when the user's smartphone approaches any of the 1400+ most popular shopping malls in America -- malls whose geo-fenced store locations are recognized through Qualcomm's Gimbal technology. As the smartphone user parks her car at the mall, Blue Kangaroo creates an instant shopping itinerary for her to check out, notifying her about the most relevant offers available at the mall today, in a list that prioritizes the best deals related to her favorite brands and recent shopping interests. So it's not just a list of great deals nearby, it's a shopping itinerary intelligently customized to the current shopping interests of the user. If you'd like to try it, you can download the Blue Kangaroo app for free today from Google Play, or from the AppStore a few weeks from now. And please let us know how you like it.
  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin , February 11, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
    Yes, Hunter, could be described as something else, as you suggested. Shopping context awareness is going to be a big deal, IMHO. Just installed your app, so I'll check it out, thanks.
  3. Stan Faryna from H&C , February 11, 2013 at 5 p.m.
    What is context for a positive, rich, interactive shopping experience? Sales Inventory, Video Ads, Search, Rewards, Social Context, Sharing, or VIP Service? Or all of the above and maybe something more. Let's dream bigger. Together.
  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin , February 11, 2013 at 5:19 p.m.
    Context is king in this context, Stan. Agree that is is likely all of the above and something more.