Many shoppers like to wander the aisles of their favorite stores, browsing, investigating, and casually waiting for that perfect item to leap out and say, “Buy me.”
This is a pleasurable and tangible experience, and more people would do it if they had the time. Consumers who shop in this way explain it as, “I’m not sure what I am looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it.”
Other shoppers prefer the “surgical strike” mode, making a list of needed products and heading directly to their target items in-store. These types do not want to hang around or get distracted. They know what they want to buy, and they have no desire to divert from the mission objective. But, they too appreciate finding the right product. It justifies the time and effort expended in traveling.
This in-store experience is something that retailers are working hard to preserve, as they compete against online establishments and cater to time-starved consumers, which is why the new Snap2Shop app from JCPenney stands out as a convenient mobile commerce solution between the two worlds.
Snap2Shop does what a native mobile app does best, taking advantage of the key features of a smartphone, like the camera and the GPS location feature, to enable shoppers to find what they are looking for by scanning the barcode or taking a photo of a similar item.
This new twist on mobile commerce technology is profiled in a recent Insight Report by L2, entitled Retail Innovations: Omnichannel. The report, published in February 2016, quotes eMarketer, stating that more than half of shoppers “report using their mobile devices while shopping, rather than engaging with store associates." L2 points out that the snapshot approach is “especially helpful when the store does not carry the specific product variant (size, color), because it allows the shopper to seamlessly transition from an in-store sale to an online purchase.”
In addition to this highly-visual approach to searching around for that perfect item, the app includes “Ferris wheel browsing,” a type of fingertip-driven onscreen version of flipping through clothes on a rack. A very tangible equivalent to the in-store experience.
JCPenney is not the only business offering this innovative shopping technology. Other retailers like Kohl’s are doing similar things, and user reviews are largely positive. In most cases, the negatives have to do with early-version teething pains typical of new rollouts. These will be rectified easily.
Using the visual nature of the smartphone app to browse, seek, and confirm the availability of an item brings the online experience closer to the physical act of shopping, but with more guarantees of satisfaction, which is what all shoppers and retailers really want.
This blog is the fourth of a multi-part series focusing on retail innovations and omnichannel commerce solutions. To read the L2 Report, click here>>