How to Mobilize In-Store Shoppers

Whether or not you believe the “mighty mobile” hype surrounding the future of mobile commerce, I can’t be the only one out there who has personally witnessed the rise in smartphone-addicted in-store shoppers. Next time you visit Target, take note of all the shoppers with carts askew as they tap away on their iPhones. It’s not even worth glaring at them as you squeeze past; they’re too engrossed in pinning their patio furniture purchases to Pinterest. You’ll have to resign yourself to taking the long way to the paper towel aisle.

This explosion of mobile phone use makes it important for brands to bridge the chasm that often separates online and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences, Jim Davidson argues in a recent Multichannel Merchant article.

Leveraging QR Codes

Davidson offers various ways to take advantage of mobile use in-store. Even if shoppers are showrooming and have no intent of making an in-store purchase, he notes that you might be able to convince them to aim their phones at a product they like and share the resulting pictures with their social networks. Stores should also make it easy for customers to add products to virtual shopping carts so that they can make purchases after they leave.

Davidson also recommends that retailers begin utilizing “sticky” QR codes. QR codes that lead to product reviews prevent shoppers from tracking down reviews on another website (where they might find a lower price). He suggests linking QR codes to a product-specific landing page that includes reviews and ratings. I would add that more manufacturers should follow Kohler’s lead and link QR codes to useful product information.

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