Shoppable billboards

Shopping has become increasingly convenient. And that is extremely scary. While it is ubiquitous that online shopping is extremely convenient and easy, the next step of shopper marketing is ensuring it is less elusive to anyone at any given time. Comptoir des Cotonniers, a retail chain in Paris is taking on the approach to completely revolutionise shopping by making it more than just plain convenience. They are taking it another step higher by leveraging on locations outdoor. This idea of using billboard to execute direct shopping is almost immediate and powerful. PowaTag, allows us to make purchases almost instantly with just our phone. Through these ‘shoppable’ billboards, we can use BlueTooth or QR codes to access straight to our wallets and make purchase. Items purchased can be delivered almost within 48 hours. Perfect.

Mobile payment is all about the experience.

Given a choice, would you choose to make a purchase using physical currency or digital currency? It is a norm to purchase an item using physical currency or cards. As the technology for mobile wallets are slowly taking off, it would soon revolutionize the in-store retail experience for shoppers. An article on reports on the 2013 MultiScreen Summit with a MasterCard executive claiming that focusing on payments is only the beginning of the consumer journey for mobile and digital wallets to take off. I totally agree with his statement.

“At the end of the day, the opportunity before us is about the consumer, the purchase and the experience,” said Ken Moy, U.S. emerging payments lead at MasterCard, Purchase, NY.

What we want to achieve would be the experience of having something so personal, so important and so special. One you would not leave home without it. There are so many ways to purchase an item. Instead of having to mull over which of the long queues to join at the cashier, there are many other ways to make purchases now. You could avoid the long queues and buy apple products from the apple store through the wireless credit card terminals that the store assistants had on hand, or tap your phone using NFC to purchase a can of coke off the vending machine or even scan QR codes to fuel your mobile payments. There are much more available options out there right now, which are both interesting and convenient for customers. Of course, it is extremely vital that extra effort must be made to reassure new customers of the benefits and security of using mobile payments.

I believe with the introduction of more innovative ways to make payments, the entire shopping experience would definitely be more enjoyable. More creative ways of making purchases will improve the way people shop and ultimately believe in technology and creativity to enhance their lives. Apart from benefitting just customers alone, the use of technology also has its advantages for businesses. A customer’s buying behavior and pattern would potentially influence their next purchasing decision. According to Scott Hendrickson, head of advertising solutions at PayPal, San Jose, data is core to nailing mobile payments. This data would eventually allow businesses to predict and implement marketing strategies that would deliver more relevant promotions to their customers. Thus, increasing their sales substantially.

Humans tend to be less receptive to changes. The implementation of mobile payments and digital wallets would definitely require greater adoption and education. It would be really cool to see a global acceptance to this new form of payment and it being the tacit approval every time a customer is prompted to make payment.



Possible Mobile POS deployment drops?


Shopping is a favorite pastime amongst so many people be it shopping for an occasion, for pleasure or therapy. Of course, majority of the figures probably lies in the window shopping category. One of the key influencing factors resulting in a successful acquisition could be impulsive buying. That which I believe could be motivated by the ease and convenience of mobile payments. Mobile Commerce Daily reported that 33 percent of retailers are actually having second thoughts on having to adopt the mobile point-of-sale systems. IHL Group reports that there is a slump in deployment figures compared to the previous year.

The truth is people are less likely to embrace new changes. And so if there is little or no acceptance to mobile POS,  it is unlikely consumers will follow suit. As retailers are aware of the potential to enhance their in-store experience with mobile POS, they also identified the problems through integration of mobile POS into their store operations. While I believe they are worried of the big undertakings through this adoption, I strongly recommend the importance of giving consumers a more conducive and effective shopping experience. I do not think retailers should compromise that brand experience with possible issues like merchandise security, cash handling, bagging, customer service levels nor traffic flows.

– quote from mobile commerce daily –

“There has been a lot of hype around mobile completely eliminating POS mostly around some announcements from a few retailers, however, most retailers are taking an approach of utilizing mobile as an add-on to service and not a replacement,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group, Franklin, TN.

“At the same time retailers are using mobile as a way to rethink their entire omni-channel transaction processing, looking to move to a single business logic regardless of the channel in which the customer chooses to buy,” he said.

“Finally, retailers are having to rethink their entire operations as they deploy mobile.  This includes security of the device, security of the merchandise, security of the transactions, payment handling, receipts, bags, and traffic flow.”

Mobile POS has inevitably improved the shopping experience of most shoppers and should continue to improve to eliminate these possible fears from retailers. Let’s work together to a new and more innovative shopping experience.