Mobile Scanning Gets Boost from Amazon
The modification in how consumers use mobile phones for commerce continues.
Amazon just merged its image recognition technology called Flow into its main mobile app, allowing consumers to hold their iPhone in front of a product and get that product added to their shopping cart for an easy purchase.
The Google Goggles app has for some time provided a similar service so that holding your phone camera in front of a product brings to the screen information about that product.
Interestingly, both Amazon and Google use the image recognition to play to their respective strengths.
An Amazon scan leads to a way to list and then quickly purchase the particular item, playing to its strength of providing easy buying.
A Google Goggles scan identifies the product and automatically provides Google search results, playing to its obvious strength of search.
But from a consumer behavioral standpoint, the activities are the same.
Both are causing a consumer to physically move their phone to use it as a quasi-remote control and both methods link consumers to products via the mobile device.
This may sound subtle but it’s part of the behavioral change happing across the mobile landscape. Scanning barcodes, QR codes, tapping phone for payments and using augmented reality also are part of the same behavioral adaptations.
Products are being brought into the up-close and personal experience of mobile by methods that mitigate typing.
Many consumers haven’t yet figured out that they can scan a product barcode in a store and get that retailer to match a competitor’s price, instantly made available on the phone.
Most consumers simply aren’t used to scanning product barcodes themselves as they shop. It’s been ingrained in us that scanning is done by someone else at checkout, at the end of the traditional buying process.
But mobile advancements like Flow, Google Goggles and various code-scanning capabilities are gradually changing that behavior. One scan at a time.