3 Ways Mobile Technology Is Changing the Retail Landscape

Smartphones are one of the most powerful tools at a person’s disposal when it comes to shopping. You can check-into your favorite store and earn discounts toward your next purchase. Along with being able to perform prices comparisons with ease, you can quickly get feedback from friends on social networks.

As consumers continue to take advantage of their phones while shopping, the merging of retail and mobile technology becomes even more apparent. A 2022 Empathica poll of 6,500 smartphone users showed that 34% had scanned a QR code and 27% searched for a product review while in the store.

According to tech research firm Gartner, worldwide smartphone sales are up almost 46% when compared with the second quarter of 2022. As smartphones and tablet devices continue to get into the hands of more and more individuals, it may come as no surprise that the retail world is acting quickly to adapt.

Here are 3 unique ways that big brand retail chains are implementing new types of experiences with the current technology available.

1. Mobile Apps

It seems that every big brand has an app these days. These apps not only allow brands to promote a variety of sales and specials, but also allow for them to generate key data metrics for further marketing down the road. For instance, Walmart has an app of its own that lets users scan product barcodes to create a customized list of favorite items for later on.

Other apps have been created to help both large retail chains along with mom and pop shops keep better track of inventory. For instance, eBay announced in July that they would be implementing a “Retail Associate Platform” to help stores gather more information about their customers. Customers who have their own PayPal account can check into a partnered store, and associates will immediately be notified. Additional, these stores can also get information pertaining to a customer’s previously browsed items that they haven’t purchased yet.

2. Point-of-Sale Transactions

Gone are the days of stores tracking their orders and transactions off of an old DOS interface from 1995. With the cloud computing becoming more popular than ever, pos software such as Vend makes it easy for stores, large and small, to track all point-of-sale metrics using a wide variety of devices. Whether a store has a touchscreen PC, Mac or standard POS system, all it takes is an internet connection to get up and running. Stores have the ability to edit inventory and track point-of-sale payments, as well as build contact lists of customers. All of this data can be accessed on any internet connected device.

3. Task Management

Big box stores are not only utilizing mobile technology to increase their customer base and improve revenue goals. They are also taking advantage of this boom to improve their workforce’s productivity. Software giant Motorola has its own version of Mobile Workforce Management Software. Any worker who is carrying around a Motorola mobile device receives a task list that checks for updates every minute.

The software automatically assigns tasks depending on who it believes is best suited for the job. If certain tasks are still incomplete, the severity increases until they are completed. Supervisors are able to view all progress of their store via a mobile interface. If a customer needs additional help, he can send a ping from his smartphone that will be received by the nearest worker.

With smartphones and tablets becoming the hottest tech trend for consumers, the retail landscape is quickly shifting to keep up. Walk into a department store within the next five years and who knows what you may see next.


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