Sellers Reaching Directly to Mobile Shoppers

by Net Future Institute on January 24, 2013

I continue to be amazed at how many people are not involved in mobile commerce. Not from an industry perspective, but from a pure, individual consumer standpoint.

While waiting for a helpful sales associate at T-Mobile to get a new SIM card to activate my new Samsung Galaxy S3 yesterday, I checked-in on Foursquare, just as a matter of routine.

Up popped a “Welcome to T-Mobile” message on Foursquare offering me a 30 percent discount on any phone accessories, as a first-time check in at the store. Since I needed a screen protector ($30), I got an instant savings of $9.

Since the sales associate had not heard of the deal, I had to show him the message on my phone, which gave clear directions for how a store employee was to execute the discount.

The point is, the employee had never seen the offer before, meaning many customers are leaving money on the table in the course of day-to-day transactions. I see this continually.

I watch people at Staples buy HP printer cartridges at the stated retail price as I take all of three second to scan and price-check the same cartridges, providing hassle-free, price-match discounts at checkout.

The good news, from an mCommerce perspective, is that some companies are coming up with ways to interject themselves in the course of a transaction, as in the case of T-Mobile via Foursquare.

Interestingly, these types of interactions are directly between the brand and the shopper, rather than being rolled out through traditional retail channels.

No sales associate training is needed, other than to advise salespeople to accurately read and follow the directions on the message sent to the phone of the person standing in front of them at checkout.

I’m curious, are you using or seeing such money-savings mobile activities at retail?

 

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