Over the weekend, I had to catch up on some long put-off shopping trips so had yet another opportunity to do some more mobile commerce benchmarking.
First up was a visit to the local camera shop, where my son, a professional videographer, frequently shops and needed to check on some new lighting equipment.
I asked him how the prices were compared to online and at other stores, and he said he wasn’t aware.
While he spoke with one of the lighting experts, I scanned various items across a range of prices throughout the store and found the prices to be either mostly the same or even lower than online and competing stores. I told him after we left, solidifying that outlet as his go-to shop for all things camera-related in the future.
Then it was off to Best Buy, where I receive the usual Shopkick alert reminding me to check in to collect some “kicks.”
After turning on the Best Buy Wi-Fi, I headed to the TV department to select a new unit for my office and loaded my trusty price checker ShopSavvy and newly re-tooled Scanlife apps to compare prices of various televisions.
As we scanned and compared prices, we narrowed the choice to what looked like the best deal. Just to make sure, I loaded the Best Buy app to check the company’s online price and off we went to checkout.
I first notified the cashier that I wanted to use both my Best Buy rewards and Shopkick account for credit.
It wasn’t that long ago that I would tell a Best Buy cashier I wanted to use both my Best Buy Rewards and Shopick loyalty programs, registered with different phone numbers, and receive a look of bewilderment from the cashier.
This time around, no problem and no questions asked, other than for the phone numbers for each account.
Noting that the credit card terminal was mobile-payment ready, I loaded my Isis payment app onto my Samsung Galaxy S4 and tapped the terminal. The phone seemed to acknowledge the tap, though the terminal sent no message to the cashier.
At least some of the mobile payment technology is getting installed, as I wrote about here last week (Moving Mobile Payments to Main Street), even if not yet connected to that last step.
After the charge, I instantly received a message via Apple Passbook that my AmEx had been charged, displaying the amount.
Then it was off to Bed Bath and Beyond for a couple of needed household items. I recalled receiving a ping from my RetailMeNot app when I was near the store the previous day. After selecting two items, I opened the app and within seconds found the 20% off coupon, good for one item only.
I showed the coupon on my S4 at checkout, the cashier scanned it and $12 was instantly deducted from the charge.
Since the coupon stated it was for “one time use per customer,” I figured it wouldn’t work for two successive scans.
I reasoned that since the other item was for my son, I should be able to get the same deal, so opened the app on my iPhone and let the cashier scan that code. Another $6 saved.
We also used Google Navigation in the course of the weekend, which identifies where to avoid traffic, making shopping trips more efficient.
There’s nothing revolutionary here, just the normal integration of mobile technology to improve and enhance the shopping experience.
And that is much of the promise of mobile commerce.