Tag Archives: Mobile

Accenture Interactive Mobile Shopping Report

Report: For mobile shopping, personalization outweighs privacy concerns

Check out this report on Mobile shopping. Interesting data. I agree with the perspective of the Accenture Exec:
“The showrooming trend can pose a threat to retailers, given that nearly a third of our respondents make their final online purchases with other stores,” said Baiju Shah, managing director of strategy and innovation for Accenture Interactive. “But consumers don’t want to shop online exclusively and our work with retailers shows that physical stores don’t have to compete on price alone but rather focus on the whole experience. Retailers need to create a seamless, multi-channel experience that blends the digital and physical, and delivers convenience, price and relevance.”

Gucci combines physical, mobile commerce via digital store-in-store

Italian fashion house Gucci is working with Samsung Electronics to offer an immersive in-store experience devoted to the label’s timepieces and jewelry that combines physical and mobile commerce.

“Gucci is essentially providing the ability to learn more about its product line through multichannel approaches with a focus on visual storytelling,” said Dalia Strum, president of Dalia Inc., New York.

“The multiple points of entry to reach as well as educate their consumers establishes a content value across each platform and should result in a stronger return on investment for the brand,” she said.

1) Consumers can scan QR codes placed on Facebook, Google+ and a video on Gucci’s watches and jewelry microsite at http://www.guccitimeless.com to view mobile-optimized content about the new timepieces (see story).

2) The label will push its Bamboo and I-Gucci watch collections via an in-store display with Samsung’s new transparent viewing screens and offer browsing opportunities with a digital shop-in-shop section. Read more on Digital In Store.

The Future of Location-Based Messaging

Services like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook are growing to involve more real time video chatting. Expect to see location-based messaging being used for ‘online’ places, like virtual reality communities.

ChatSq, built on the Foursquare API, has picked up on this potential of leaving messages for friends to get when they get to a location, experimenting with connecting Foursquare users by creating chat rooms that are tied to venues. Enabling each venue to have it’s own mobile social network.

Loopt expanded its ping feature to “location-based text message” making use of push notifications to allow users to communicate and subsequently share their location through the Loopt service. Loopt allows a user to “group message” any number a friends checked into the same location. When running late to meet friends for dinner you can update the whole group waiting at the restaurant (provided they’re friends on Loopt) with your current location.

Mobile Pizza Magnet

Check out this new bluetooth fridge magnet to order pizza. When customer’s get it they sync the magnet to their mobile phone one, then whenever they want pizza they press the button on the fridge and their favorite order is automatically placed for delivery to their home (or office). The customer gets a confirmation text and then the pizza is delivered for dinner.

eBay Extension in to Physical World

eBay has created “shoppable” windows designed by Jonathan Adler. Using QR codes anyone with a smart phone scanner to customized eBay pages with products similar to those in the window. You can read more in this Fast Company article How Much For That Motorcycle In The Window? Inside eBay’s Physical Push for Mobile Sales

SeaWorld use of QR Codes

I was at SeaWorld recently on a family vacation used their mobile app. It was easy to download by scanning a QR code on the back of the park map. The app provided access to directions on how to get to your destination, current ride wait and show times as well as attraction specific content accessible through QR codes on the wait line fence. Very nice.

Evolution of Clothes Shopping though Augmented Reality

We launched Nanette Lepore’s interactive mirror at the National Retail Federation Show in 2007. I’ve been keeping track of “virtual” apparel shopping experiences ever since. I wouldn’t say that any deliver a great experience but they provide a vision of the future. They fall in to a few categories: trying out new clothes without having to go to the store, trying them on virtually while in the store. I have also been following the trend of social retailing which is where you can bring others in to the shopping expereince.

In the spring of 2008 – Microsoft Research team created a version of the mirror where girls can dress up as princess in front of a “magic mirror” for Disney Innovations Dream Home. It is rumored that this concept will appear in Disney’s new retail stores.

In the Fall 2009 Cisco showed our idea of a future shopping experience.

Try on at Home
In an attempt to overcome one of the biggest obstacles of online shopping – the inability to try a garment on before purchasing – these online applications allow you to “try on” clothes you see online.

JCPenny Virtual Dressing Room on the Seventeen Magazine Site uses fits.me technology ( start-up that just secured $1.5Min funding) to enable teens to try on clothes virtually at home. Set up is easy. Just allow access to your web cam, position yourself to the figure on the screen and then use motion to select items to try on. It might work well if you have a large display but accessing from my laptop was a bit awkward and the images were small and it was hard to imagine how they might look on me.

Tobi Virtual Dressing Room is very similar to the JCPenney app with one exception. It requires an extra step which I think makes it a barrier to using it. The shopper needs to print out a symbol (marker recognition) and hold it up to set their position. The technology is by Zugara.

In The Store
The in store examples include enabling customers see combinations of items (even ones that are not in stock), see what something looks like from all sides and to connect with friends to get their opinion while shopping. The third element is might be the most interesting from a conversion standpoint, since for most shoppers an opinion from a friend is usually the deciding factor.

Meta Technology has built a solution that has a lot of the same elements the Nanette solution. See the video here video. They have also put together an interesting overview of the benefits.

Diesel Ginza Store (Japan) has an interactive Mirror which plays the role as a communication tool between the sales staffs and the customer. It is designed with an intuitive touch screen interface. It has functions like capturing high-resolution photos of the customer as they try on clothes from any angles even back shot. Customer can compare those shown items individually and see which item is the best. There are also various real-time effects that entertain customers. When not in use it plays advertising movies and runway videos. It displays maximum 6 of recorded photos on the screen at once. Developed by Non-Grid.

Nedap Mirror takes the Deisel example one step further and enables social retailing. Now we’re getting somewhere…

On the Go Experiences

Go Try It On uses photos to enables you to get your friends opinion on how you look before you go out for the evening. You can upload a photo of yourself and a description of the brands you are wearing. The site’s community then posts comments on what they think. The iPhone app allows you to upload your image as well as access the feedback.

Go Try It On faces competition from Weardrobe, Polyvore, and Fashism (which also just launched an iPhone app).

Mobile Vehicle Connectivity!

Owners of 2011 Chevrolet models can now access their vehicle information and OnStar services right from their smart phones.

“Vehicle-specific information is accessible after scanning the vehicle identification number using the smart-phone camera. These features include searchable content for the most-commonly accessed information in the owner’s manual, such as directions saving radio presets. The app also provides explanations of warning lights and indicators on the vehicle instrument panel at the touch of a button. In addition, myChevrolet integrates with the OnStar MyLink app to access exclusive OnStar technologies. Through OnStar’s unique connection to the vehicle, owners can send remote vehicle commands such as unlocking or locking the doors, and starting the engine. In addition, owners can access key diagnostic information, including fuel tank level and range, remaining oil life, current and recommended tire pressure and lifetime average miles per gallon. The diagnostic information is current as of the last vehicle start, giving OnStar subscribers an up-to-date health report of their vehicle anytime they need it.”

How They Work: QR Code Basics

QR (Quick Response) codes, images containing encoded data, are popping up everywhere. They are helpful in enabling users to get quick access to information while on the go and in stores (reducing the need to look for people or produce signs). There are many applications for QR codes across all channels, web, tv, print, posters and direct mail to enable easier access to coupons, demonstrations, registration forms etc. QR codes are also be placed on products to enable quick access to product details and reviews bringing some of the benefits of the rich content available during online shopping to the store experience.

Here’s how it works:
1. Create a code
2. User takes a picture with their smartphone.
3. Code is deciphered via a QR reader (method 1) or sends a QR code via SMS (method 2)
4. It becomes a link to content

Customers can use a smart phone such as the iPhone, DROID or BlackBerry, to scan a QR tag and get text, images and videos delivered via their phone’s Web browser. There are two ways to accessing content using a QR code. I think the SMS method is compelling in the short run since it does not require the user to have downloaded an app to a smartphone. However, as smartphones become more pervasive and are likely to come with an app already on them then that process is easy and I don’t have to wait for an SMS.

Method 1: Accessing Content through a QR Application
Customers need to downloaded an application to use to read the codes such as the Microsoft® Tag Reader application—available for free at http://gettag.mobi—to their smart phones. They can launch the app and point the phone’s camera at the tag image. iPhone users may also download the tag reader via the Apple App Store. The app scans the photo and automatically delivers the message, video, coupon, registration form, mobile payment etc.

In addition to Microsoft leaders include ScanLive, Nokia Reader and StickyBits. See a list of all vendors.

Case Study: Simmons QR Code at JCPenney
Simmons uses QR tags bring the point-of-sale to life, educating and engaging the consumer at a key decision point. Studies based on mattress buying trends found purchase decisions are typically made in the store, making the in-store experience critical. Simmons designed a tagging application aimed at simplifying the buying process for mattresses.

After the customer has downloaded the app and scanned the code they can access a 3-D construction rendering of the mattress model and play a video, which the benefits of the mattress and features the brand’s signature bowling ball demonstration for additional emphasis on the Super Pocketed Coil springs’ motion separation benefits. I think they might have missed an opportunity to provide the customer with a coupon, payment options or other benefits.

Case Study: NYC Garbage Trucks
QR codes began appearing on the side of the NYC garbage trucks. Scanning the codes with a mobile phone will take users to a video of the NYC Media Show. “The Green Apple: Recycling.”

Method 2: QR and SMS-based Codes

The second method is to use text-based SMS codes to deliver the video, images or text to the smart and standard phones. This approach does not require the customer to download an application first.

I snapped a picture of this QR code on a billboard at the BART station.

Leaders include JagTag. Their promotion with Sport Illustrated generated 120,000 responses but I am not sure how I feel about this as a measure of effectiveness given the content.

Case Study: Sports Illustrated

3 Mobile Capabilities Enable Buying Anything, Anytime, Anywhere

The latest mobile technologies are further lowering the barriers to accessing and purchasing products by enabling an end-to-end (select, order, pay) mobile shopping experience. This is freeing retail from the physical and traditional online environment allowing shopping to take place anywhere, anytime.

Imagine holding up your phone in front of your friend’s shirt, taking a photo and being presented with product information including where to buy. With one click it can be on its way to our home. These capabilities are here today and along with a massive growth in user adoption of smart phones (25% of mobile phones) and application downloads, (2 billion iPhone apps) are enabling retailers to design a next-generation mobile experience.

We’re talking about moving beyond how you enable your customers to do research from your store or in getting them to sign up for SMS alerts; these new capabilities are creating a new set of considerations when it comes to designing your customer’s mobile experience. What are the features and applications desired by your customers when interacting with you? How will you deliver them so that the experience is smooth? What apps should you consider contributing content that are not being managed by your organization?

New device capabilities in 3 areas will drive new usage.

1) Improvements in product identification technologies

Mobile Apps like StripeyLines, Shop Savvy and Amazon Remembers use barcode scanning , QR code and image recognition to enable access to product information, check prices and availability and to make purchases.
Google Goggles enables photo searching. Right now it’s limited to menus, contacts, wine, logos, landmarks, books, and artwork but you can see the potential.

2) Geo-based Applications (with Augmented Reality)

Point Inside Indoor Maps App

PlaceCast Geo Fencing provides retailers with the ability to send mobile ads to nearby shoppers. Customers get contextual offers when they are in the vicinity of your store or possibly when they are visiting a competitor.
Point Inside overlay’s event and venue specific map data onto Google Maps Technology, developers can build mobile apps for indoor space. Merchants can communicate with customers as they physically move along an indoor map.
Nearby Now provides gift recommendations guided by location of nearby stores
Layar is an augmented reality app where you can add your own layers. In-N-Out Burger enables customers to find a location and to access a secret menu.
FoodTracer enables to you scan grocery shelves to identify attributes such as organic, local grown, or carbon footprint.

3) Mobile Payments

Square transforms iPhone and iPad in to credit card machine, enabling people to checkout from anywhere.
PayPal using Bumpallows users to physically knock their phones against each other to initiate a quick transfer payment.
Zong let’s you use your mobile phone number and a pin for easy payment.

Here is a link to an article on PayPal vs Square

NFC Payment tags in credit cards or in the phone SIM card contains Credit Card information for easy tap to pay. Phones can also read tags adhered to posters, brochures, magazines or billboards for value-added services.

Organizations will need to think about their customers entire mobile shopping experience in a much broader way – across the entire customer journey. There are many different variations that need to be considered including how to imagine the possibilities, research a product, build a shopping list, navigate to the store and in the store, pre-ordering for pick up and payment.

Creative Ways to Enhance Event Experiences using Mobile & Extended Internet

I attended a conference hosted by Level Design Studios. They had developed a mobile app that facilitated me through the entire event. It was spot on from the directions on how to get there, location of activities and the ability to send in my feedback on the sessions. The user interface was simple and easy to use. There is also a gallery of photos of the event that was updated after the event – extending the experience beyond the two days.

There was a QR code on the back of all the badges. The app had a QR code scanner built in and I could use it to scan attendees QR codes and save their information directly to my address book.

I started looking in to other examples and found the following (none of them facilitate the experience like the Level app):

Coca-Cola Marketing Event Tracked Facebook Users
Visitors to the Coca-Cola Village Amusement Park in Israel wore RFID bracelets. This allowed participants to log into their Facebook accounts and then ‘like’ various attractions such as the water slides and video games. If the park photographer took their pic, they only had to flash their bracelet in order to be tagged in the photo.

Facebook Tests Location Through RFID AT f8
Attendees of the f8 developer conference are receiving special RFID tags that enable them to check-in to various locations throughout the conference venue. The service let you tag yourself in photos, become a fan of various Facebook Pages, and share activity to your Facebook profile. While it’s still a concept service, it’s interesting to see some of the things that Facebook developers are currently testing.

Nationwide Accident Assistant App

Nationwide Insurance has launched an iPhone and iPad Accident Toolkit to guide you through the steps to take after an accident. Helps get police and rescuers rolling and gets you in touch with towing services. Very cool example of a next generation utility that integrates in a meaningful way in to your life.

Chase Mobile Deposit

This is an amazing new mobile deposit service from Chase where I can deposit a check using my iPhone.

How to Design for Mobile Internet

The wireless market has been largely dependant on the experimentation of the youth culture (especially in Asia) and the early adopters, the next wave of mobile success is dependant on creating sustainable brands, products and services that offer real value.

The mobile channel is becoming a viable with consumer adoption of SMS and mobile commerce on the rise. There is opportunity to assist your customers in reaching consumers through their phones. Once they get past ring tones and wallpaper users demonstrate an appetite for data from stock quotes to news alerts to soap opera updates. Consider a mobile site as part of a channel mix and understand usage context, focus on key tasks and enable users to swiftly move to more appropriate channels where necessary

Mobile sites are usually not replicas of actual website but rather select content and services. The sites don’t need the most content just the mission-critical content and function that users require to meet their goals like checking the local forecast, finding stock quotes and looking up flight schedules.
Companies with mobile sites usually have a dedicated url – mobile.delta.com, mobile.cnn.com, wap.usatoday.com, wireless.fidelity.com, or direct the user to a particular feature like aa.flightlookup.com or uaflightlookup.com.

There is a mix of internet accessible and downloadable applications like Google’s gmail and maps. In its current state mobile web seems best when through of as a part of a portfolio of channels. It is important to take a holistic view of user goals and provide a smooth transition between channels like contextual links that automatically dial customer service.

Mobile Channel Development

Develop for the phone. Focus sites on a few key tasks. By the time users get to a mobile site they are already challenged by unpredictable connections, small screens and unusual input methods. Don’t compound the situation by making them sift through dozens of links.
Link to other channels, where appropriate. In its current state, the mobile Web might be the most limiting of interaction channels. But like other channels, it should be thought of as one part of a portfolio of channels by take a holistic view of user goals and provide smooth transitions.

Extend existing behavior. Observe current consumer behavior — at home, at work, or when commuting, shopping, and partying — to find gaps mobile can fill.

Make it simple to use. Life is easier for consumers who receive “push” content (SMS, MMS, etc) —than for those who have to search for it. Provide a short code or direct link to access the content directly.

Organize pages for easy scanning. Even when sites provide information that consumers want, poor formatting can hide key details. Differentiate sections of links or paragraphs by using background shading for visual differentiation and when displaying data in rows and columns use a table structure: Not only does it help users scan information, but it can also aid cross-channel consistency.

Mobile Content Evaluation Criteria

On the mobile Internet, the goals are different and relate to the device’s unique characteristics — it’s always with you, always connected, and personal. People like convenience, control, time savings, and personalization with comfort that all interactions are secure. People on the go will welcome mobile services that match these characteristics by being:

Timely. Successful mobile services build on the success of other media by providing what other media can’t offer — the ability to always receive information.
– Mobile users don’t have the time nor the screen size to watch a live broadcast of a football match — they’ll record it at home for free — but they may want to check scores or see highlights while commuting.
– Consumers book their trips on their PCs, but use SMS alert service to know if their flight will leave on time or check flights times online.
– They bank online from home, but get a quick view of their account balance on their phone.

Location-relevant. Mobile services that excel take advantage of the user’s location to offer value.
– In the UK, Vodafone provides a “Find and Seek” service on its portal using Mobile Commerce’s technology, which lets consumers find services like restaurants and taxi firms nearby.
– When Coldplay launched its album X&Y, 20,000 consumers downloaded video clips and sample tracks directly from posters in London railway stations using Bluetooth.
– Advertisers, retailers, and operators have the opportunity to fulfill consumers’ immediate needs and impulses in places like stations, museums, and shops.

Actionable. Providing the ability for consumers to perform a task.
– Let consumers locate the closest branch via a mobile site and then get a map with walking directions;
– Support consumers booking a ticket from the nearest train station and then getting walking directions to or from it.
– Actionable also means creating interactivity with other, more passive media like TV or advertisements – getting users to participate in promotions or games and support interactions like “recommend this,” “rate this”