With the holiday season getting started, a growing number of people are using their smartphones as tools to help them to make their shopping decisions, so retailers that want to survive and thrive are being required to get involved in the mobile commerce trend.
Failing to be involved in mobile commerce this year is a direct path to lost sales because those retailers will be failing to meet the needs and expectations of their current and prospective customers.
Companies such as Lowe’s, Toys R Us, and Best Buy are all making careful changes to help shoppers who will be using their smartphones as a tool for holiday shopping, such as for price comparisons, product research, and even to make the purchases themselves.
Lowes.com vice president, Gihad Jawhar, explained the strategy of this second-largest home-improvement company, by saying that it is the customer who has the control over the direction of the shopping experience and that “Retailers can either hop on the bus or get left behind. We are choosing the first option.”
Employees at Lowe’s have been issued over 42,000 iPhones within more than 1,700 of its store locations. These tools allow employees to find information for customers much more quickly and easily by obtaining information about the store’s inventory as well as the inventory of other stores nearby.
Shoppers in that store’s locations can use their own smartphones to check prices, and read reviews left about the product by other customers. This can work with the employees who can then offer shoppers a better price should they find a lower priced item elsewhere.