Smartphones. It’s a whole new world for shoppers – and retailers

If you’re like us, practically everyone you know has a smartphone.  According to the numbers, the rapid growth of smartphones is dramatic – with 90 million smartphones in the US at the end of 2011.

Why are they so popular? Smartphones are being used for just about anything.  Think of all the ways you use yours.   It’s used for everything from your alarm clock, email, music, books, compass, phone, maps, to do list, shopping, etc.  There’s probably even an app to tuck your kids in at night… (though we don’t recommend it).

Shopping, Email, Phone, Photos, Music, Maps

Let’s focus on the last one for a minute – shopping.

Shopping list, indoor store maps, personalized offers, digital coupons

The statistics are stunning – 79% of smartphone users have used their phone for shopping.  More importantly, there are two types of shopping activities:

1) those that take the customer out of the store and

2)  those that help a customer find what they are looking for and purchase in-store.

The former are the price comparison apps where users scan a barcode on a product and see where they can buy it cheaper. These “scan and scram” apps usually result in a customer walking out of your store without a purchase.

The latter is an app – usually by the retailer – that helps a customer find the products they want inside your store. It’s a way for brick and mortar retailers to personalize and enhance their customers’ in-store shopping experiences, while increasing both basket size and customer loyalty.

Some examples of what this app can do include:

  • shopping lists
  • indoor store maps
  • product locations
  • efficient routes through the store
  • personalized offers
  • loyalty programs
  • digital coupons
  • proximity alerts
  • product information
  • self-checkout

The result is that customers quickly find what they are looking for and they have more time to browse for more items.  In your store.

What’s next:

It’s expected that sometime early this year, the sale of smartphones will pass feature phones.

And their presence is changing the way people shop. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with your customers…

The Meijer Find-it App is an example of how this can be done.  As Meijer found, the key benefits for retailers include real-time in-store engagement with customers, larger basket size, greater customer loyalty and deeper customer insights.

What ways are you connecting with your customers with smartphones?

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Point Inside has transformed the shopping experience by enabling retailers to engage proactively with customers through their smartphones at every point along the purchase path.


  1. Thumbs up to Meijer & Point Inside. I can't wait for more retailers to jump onto this bandwagon. The possibilities for this are so great. Eventually I can imagine putting your shopping list into a website & it will organize it aisle by aisle. Shopping made easy. Sign me up!

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