Missing the Mobile Deals at Retail

by Chuck Martin on November 13, 2013

Mobile marketing speaker, mobile keynote speaker, keynote speakerBy Chuck Martin

While we’re receiving stats galore about how some consumers will use their phones and tablets for holiday shopping this season, what is starting to stand out is how many will not.

After scanning a product barcode in a recent trip to Best Buy, I loaded my ShopSavvy app to see what others were charging, showed my phone results to the employee and he cheerfully matched the Amazon price.

I asked him how many people scan barcodes and he said a tiny number.

Over the weekend, I had a similar experience at Staples, one of the easiest price matching retailers I’ve experienced. I was buying several print cartridges for my alleged paperless office, and found a competitor I had never heard of with a price substantially lower.

I saved somewhere upwards of $30 in just a few seconds. I again asked the sales associate how many shoppers do this and she said a very small number.

After witnessing the conversation, my wife noted that other full-retail (non-mobile) shoppers are subsidizing the deals of those like I had just received from the quick scan and price check.

She may have a point here.

In one projection by Visa, the number of consumers using mobile phones or tablets to shop this year will increase to a quarter (25%) of them, compared to 22% last year.

Another way to look at this is that most (75%) will still not be using their mobile devices to shop.

And of that smaller percentage that are using their phones for shopping, many will be using them for researching product information and using mobile websites to compare online to in-store prices.

But many will not be using apps to scan barcodes to see on-the-spot competitive pricing to be matched in-store.

Some major retailers like Best Buy and Staples have publicly stated they’ll match many of their competitors’ prices, including those from Amazon.

It’s up to the mobile shopper to take the initiative to find that best price.

For those who don’t, merchants rule.


Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.



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