Mobile Commerce & the Disconnects

by Chuck Martin on July 21, 2013

Mobile Marketing Speaker, Mobile Keynote Speaker, Social Media SpeakerBy Chuck Martin

When on the lookout for examples of innovative mobile commerce in my travels I often come up short.

Sure, there are the obvious ones, when I occasionally see a shopper scan a barcode.

On a California trip last week, I did (sort of) catch a couple of examples of mobile commerce in action.

At a high-end shopping mall in Santa Monica, several billboards promoting a movie had a prominently placed QR code and NFC implementation.

I scanned the QR code with my iPhone and tapped into the NFC with my Samsung Nexus. Both triggers led to the same location, a mall-oriented game that provided jokes and games.

Unfortunately, the jokes led to dead-ends, as answers failed to transmit to either phone. So the codes and NFC worked as a quick lead, but to a not-so-good experience.

Then there was the yogurt chain store with a large, prominent QR sign at the register so  customer could, at least theoretically, scan the code and offer customer feedback.

After watching no one scan the code for a while, I scanned it to see what was on the other side.

I was greeted with an interminably long survey about my recent visit. After answering more questions than I could imagine any customer would, I was sent a code for a small discount on my next yogurt purchase at the chain.

The message said to “write your validation code on your survey invitation found on your receipt.”

Carrying mobile phones but not pens or pencils, I asked the cashier to borrow one to write the code on the receipt, as instructed. He informed me that not only did he not have one to lend, but that there were no pens or pencils in the store.

He also was unaware of what the QR code sign was for, even though it was directly in front of the register he was manning.  (If you happen to visit any Yogurtland soon, bring a pen and on your receipt write the code 2451W. You’re welcome.)

For mobile commerce, there’s still quite a disconnect between what could be done and what is being done. What disconnects have you observed?

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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