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Mobile Shopping Apps: Changing the Way People Shop

mobile appsMobile shopping apps have changed the way that merchants sell products and the way that buyers interact with the products in stores. With a mobile phone, you can scan a product bar code and easily see reviews and other relevant information. Some mobile phone apps also make it easy to compare prices from different stores, both online and offline. That means no more driving around to different stores just to get the best price.

Some mobile phone apps also allow shoppers to check out from their mobile phone. Studies have shown that savvy consumers prefer to self checkout rather than use traditional checkout lanes. Some consumers abandon their shopping carts if the lines at the register are long or if there are no cash registers open.

Check out these mobile shopping apps that are changing the way people shop.

IBM Mobile Shopper

IBM Mobile Shopper uses Honeywell technology (www.honeywellaidc.com) that lets buyers scan any bar code in the store using their mobile phone. They can then checkout at the IBM self-checkout station. This gives shoppers a more customized in-store experience.

"Retailers can now deliver a more personalized shopping experience that is less of a chore and more of a convenience for consumers," said John Gaydac, vice president of IBM Retail Store Solutions.  "By enabling consumers to scan and check-out a wide variety of products at their own pace, retailers can not only create a more customized shopping environment, but also increase in-store traffic."

"Honeywell has a long heritage of providing bar code scanning for mission-critical applications where inaccuracy is not an option," said John Waldron, president of Honeywell Scanning & Mobility. "Today, with IBM, we're bringing those capabilities to consumers to help make their shopping trips more efficient and productive."

IBM Mobile Shopper uses IBM ACE Store Integrator software as well as the new IBM Self-Checkout software. This gives consumers access to loyalty programs, promos and digital coupons at the self-checkout stations.

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PayFast by AisleBuyer

PayFast by AisleBuyer (http://www.aislebuyer.com) is a mobile phone app that lets shoppers scan the bar codes of products so they can see customer reviews, recommendations and other information. With this app, shoppers can use their mobile phone to self-checkout so that they don't have to line up at the register.

“Having to waiting in line at a store has a significant effect on a retailer’s bottom line. Nearly half of shoppers said if a line is too long they will either leave the store without purchasing anything or only buy the few items they came for, without shopping the rest of the store,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO of AisleBuyer. “Giving these shoppers another way to pay – without having to wait in line – will increase the likelihood that they will ultimately purchase something in the store, rather than abandon the purchase due to frustration. The survey results clearly show that shoppers are interested in this alternative checkout experience—something savvy retailers are investing in as we speak.”

PayFast also records the buyer's shopping history so that it can deliver customized offers, coupons, discounts and promos. It can also store shopper loyalty cards and store receipts.

“For years, brands have relied on traditional in-store shopper marketing tactics such as endcap displays, dump bins and sampling programs to influence the purchase decisions that are being made in the store aisle. But today’s shopper has become increasingly tech savvy, and brands need to adapt their age-old strategies to remain competitive in our new online world,” said Andrew Paradise.  “Given that a majority of shoppers enter stores with only rough shopping lists, they are incredibly impressionable when they are in the aisle. As brand marketers look for new ways to feature their products when shoppers are considering the competition, they should look no further than something consumers already have in hand – their smartphones.”

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RedLaser by eBay Mobile

RedLaser by eBay Mobile (http://mobile.ebay.com) allows consumers to shop and compare products using their mobile phone. eBay, mostly known for its online auctions, acquired RedLaser, a mobile bar code scanner, as well as Milo.com, a provider of local shopping results. Buyers can scan the bar codes of products with their mobile phone using RedLaser and the mobile app will show the best prices from local retailers using Milo.com's database.

“This new version of RedLaser is a major stepping stone in the evolution of mobile shopping. Through integration with PayPal and Milo we can now offer consumers the unprecedented ability to research online and offline inventory at the same time and purchase their items with a truly seamless end-to-end shopping experience,” said Rob Veres, RedLaser general manager and senior director of eBay Mobile. “We are proud to bring this technology to the market and empower shoppers to confidently purchase whatever they want, wherever they are – at the best price.”

“The lines between offline and online retail are blurring and we want to give consumers the best of both worlds by providing them access to both and online and offline merchandise all the time and directly on their phones,” said Richelle Parham, chief marketing officer of eBay North America. “eBay and RedLaser are at the forefront of mobile commerce offering a great selection of shopping tools.”

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