Probably one of the most insightful posts on mobile and retailing was recently published on Forbes.com by John Caron of Modiv Media - one of the most holistic mobile solution providers out there for retailers. "For Mobile Commerce: the Year of Convergence and Context" explores the mobile related trends that will influence retailing over 2012.
The author explains that:
By engaging and interacting with the shopper in the store, they connect the physical store with a mobile device to drive a personalized experience for the shopper that influences behavior and boosts spending. This is transformational.
He goes on to explain that the elements of convergence and context (covered below) will mature this year and lead to more holistic solutions that offer personalized shopping experiences.
The smartphone becomes the tool by which retailers can directly engage and influence purchase decisions while the customer is in the store and just before they make a purchase decision
This could be truly valuable to shoppers and to those retailers who adopt this as part of their strategy. One of the challenges for this form of customer interaction for grocery will be to find meaningful ways in which to personalize offerings and information delivery. Dietary preference is definitely an opportunity here but will require a level of preference data and raw product data that isn't readily available at this stage. For this reason, it may be some time before a truly personalized experience is something we'll see within grocery stores in 2012.
- Convergence: When bricks and mobile finally integrate to provide a holistic shopping experience whereby each shopper has a unique experience with the physical store.
- Context: When mobile couponing, offers, location, check-ins, etc. become personalized to the individual shopper based on who they are, what they like, where they are, what they want, and what they’ve just scanned or purchased.