Retail TouchPoints: Mobile Could Be Real-Time Game-Changer For Black Friday Shopping

Discussion
Nov 22, 2010

By Amanda F. Batista

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.

While
Black Friday has traditionally kicked off the holiday shopping season by giving
consumers exciting in-store offers, this year, industry experts suggest the
real-time access consumers can find via smart phones could be a potential threat
to the usually-high expectation for in-store traffic.

The ability to “wait
and see,” or capitalize on the online deal
assortments via Cyber Monday, has previously been available, but the mobile
phone is giving customers an additional channel through which to search, compare
and shop.

“Mobile is probably the most interesting and game-changing technology
that’s
going to and is hitting retail, and will do so for the next decade,” said
Fiona Dias, EVP of strategy & marketing, GSI Commerce. “We’re
just starting to wrap our minds on how it totally changes retail store shopping,
but it’s both exciting and frightening.”

Ms. Dias said that although
it’s a great game-changer as customers are empowered with web site information
now at the point of purchase, mobile still has its drawbacks. Pointing to a
“crowd intelligence” concept, Ms. Dias said shoppers will navigate in groups
and leverage social networks like Twitter to inform their network of friends
about out of stocks via mobile.

“The power that customers are going to have to change their purchase
decision on the fly [on Black Friday] is going to make it very difficult for
retailers to keep people in line at their stores,” Ms. Dias said.

Usablenet,
provider of web, mobile applications, kiosk and assisted solutions has launched
16 retail mobile web sites and features in time for the holidays. Macy’s,
Crate & Barrel and Neiman Marcus are motivating customers with “wish
lists” and “gift registries” to expand the functionality
of m-commerce sites.

“This idea of productivity — [being able] to compare prices without
having to go to mortar stores — that’s an important aspect of [Black
Friday shopping],” said Jason Taylor, VP global product strategy, Usablenet.
“Retailers have to target those people while shopping, with coupons or special
offers for a particular time. What might be interesting in mobile is the instant
ability to get information.”

Discussion Questions: How do you think mobile phone technologies may affect
Black Friday or Cyber Monday, whether this upcoming holiday or in the future?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

10 Comments on "Retail TouchPoints: Mobile Could Be Real-Time Game-Changer For Black Friday Shopping"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
D. Black
Guest
D. Black
10 years 5 months ago

Risk: Advertising prices online.

Solution: Don’t advertise prices online.

Paula Rosenblum
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

Katie bar the doors. Mobile this year, TV next year. Channels proliferate.

Susan Rider
Guest
Susan Rider
10 years 5 months ago

We are already on the brink. Mobile coupons, mobile boarding passes…it’s all about the marketing and garnering the new consumer. The new consumers are all about “mobile” and “personalized me.” As the traditional fade into the sunset this will be the new tradition.

Paul R. Schottmiller
Guest
Paul R. Schottmiller
10 years 5 months ago

Yes it will have a significant impact, however, when, how much, and for whom depends on your customer segment. While most customers across all channels are shopping with their phone on their person (major utilization is voice and text), a significant number do not have smartphones yet. The real innovation and related adoption will happen as your major customer segments have smartphones with unlimited data plans. Within 5 years add pervasive 4G connectivity (and all that can enable–i.e. video), and we will see more innovation in front of us than behind over the next several years.

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
10 years 5 months ago

I think this year mobile commerce will have an affect on Black Friday, with retailers actively using mobile location and offer targeting gaining an advantage. It will have less impact on Cyber Monday. Some people who ordinarily shop from their work PCs (which according to comScore accounted for slightly more than half of last year’s Cyber Monday purchases) may instead shop from smartphones to reduce the chance of getting in trouble with the boss, but total sales will probably not greatly differ as a result.

David Biernbaum
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

The ability for consumers to compare prices online and via their mobile phones will have some but minimal impact on Black Friday because consumers are busy and they will choose one mall, or a few stores, and in most cases these stores will meet the advertised prices of competitors.

John Bajorek
Guest
John Bajorek
10 years 5 months ago

With greater unification across the entire shopping experience the consumer/shopper is in more control than ever. With greater functionality on the mobile web, hundreds of thousands of apps, and newer geo-based and crowd-sourcing applications–Black Friday could be greatly impacted by mobile. Frankly it probably already has begun through effective mobile loyalty programs by companies like Target, American Eagle and Starbucks.

No longer will the chaos and frenzy of Black Friday be the sole driver of the deal seeker, because this year shoppers have more information than ever to find the right product that fits their budget, has the right peer ratings and is in stock. Any retailer without an integrated mobile strategy will have a much less successful holiday than they might have had–especially with millenials.

Herb Sorensen, Ph.D.
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

We are going to see a growing series of discussions focusing on the Convergence of Online, Mobile and Bricks-and-Mortar (COMB) retailing. And the discussions here seem to have about the right balance of expectations plus the reality that changes will be more gradual than the most enthusiastic expect.

I do think there is FAR too much focus on price as the thing that needs to get communicated: “What might be interesting in mobile is the instant ability to get information.” As if “getting information” is what shopping is all about–NOT!

The technology people driving these tools (smart phones) know a lot more about information (IT) than they do about shoppers’ behavior. Again, Neale Martin’s “Habit: The 95% of Behavior that Marketers Ignore” explains the error of trying to market based on 5% of the shopper’s behavior. And price is only one small part of that 5%.

Mark Johnson
Guest
Mark Johnson
10 years 5 months ago

We still have such LOW mobile adoption rates, most large merchants do not even have a strategy. I know; I speak to them every day. The ROI, also “substantial,” is not proven and the big merchants are still quite leery.

Mark Price
Guest
Mark Price
10 years 5 months ago

Consumers are still not completely accustomed to offers online, so the ability of retailers to influence behavior and drive incremental revenue is somewhat limited. But consumers will be using social media, particularly Facebook, to share offers, advise friends about out-of-stocks and highlight specific retailers. Consumers will also search out lowest prices, both on and offline, and take advantage of them wherever they are. Imagine consumers purchasing from your competitor, in your own store!

Retailers will need to add additional functionality to their FB pages to facilitate such interaction, and the development of such capability will take into next year.

Then look out.

wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

When will mobile technologies have a major influence on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...