Consumers Like Mobile Shopping Sites and Apps
Why Location-Based Techology is Crucial
What the apps do offer is something that brick and mortar stores also know, and that’s it about three things: location, location, location. In this case, it is also location-based.
“Location is absolutely a key element of mobile commerce, and there are numerous ways that the two are being integrated,” says David Diggs, vice president, wireless Internet development, CTIA-The Wireless Association.
“There are plenty of examples of location being coupled with social networking to locate friends. Some apps allow shoppers to hunt for nearby retailers that may have a better price or broader selection for a product they’re considering.”
Location could also play the role with the contextual experience says Becker, as this is increasingly true as consumers use their phones not just to make purchases, but in how to get to the brick and mortar locations.
“The mobile phone is a great device and becomes a remote control for local intent.”
According to Forrester, 26 percent of consumers have already shown an interest in using their mobile phones to get directions from their current locations to a store, and location-based services allow customers to find the nearest stores and obtain driving directions.
This has resulted in a near-experience for users that has garnered the buzz word “geofenced,” as in when a user comes within proximity of a retailer. The best practices say the experts would be for retail apps to remain permission based and let the consumer opt in for notifications and other information they may desire, but there are concerns this could result in potential spam.
“Information overload is definitely a risk,” says Ellison. “But the great thing about apps is that if you don't like 'em, you just delete 'em. The apps that succeed are the ones that provide continuous value over time, good customer experiences, and don't overwhelm you with extraneous information.”
The upside, or downside depending on your view, adds Becker is that this could result in even more personalized search and advertising, “Eric Schmidt of Google at Mobile World Congress noted that over time services will learn about consumers needs more than they know themselves.”
And isn’t knowing what the consumers want before they know it the ultimate dream of every retailer?
Watch CNBC's coverage of the 2011 CTIA Wireless convention on Tuesday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 23 from Orlando, Fla. Technology correspondent Jon Fortt will report live from the convention floor, Jim Cramer will host a special edition of "Mad Money" on Tuesday at 6pm ET, and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera will co-anchor "Power Lunch" from the event on Wednesday at 1pm ET.