The innovative use of QR Codes (Quick Response Codes – a type of matrix or two-dimensional barcode) can grow a companies social and consumer reach as well as introducing the new user to discounts, coupons, marketing campaigns through the development of companion mobile apps. These companion apps show and build brand awareness as well as driving retail sales.
Mobile Retail apps are now making use of barcodes for quick input and searching, such as in Amazon’s mobile app, which aid the consumer to get the best service and deal. They are also using Location Based Services (LBS) to suggest stores to visit with the users proximity and in the future Augmented Reality (AR – a real world view, overlaid with additional computer generated information) to guide the consumer around the store, suggesting the latest hot deals. The Augmented Reality vision may sound a little awkward to some reader, holding their devices in front of them, but these are the advances that in a few years, we will not think twice about using in daily life.
For payment we see various companion mobile apps from banks etc, that allow electronic funds transfer, but are currently limited by speed of the inter bank systems for funds transfer. Though we are very close to removing that obstacle with the use of NFC (Near Field Communication) and/or BLE (Bluetooth Low Emission) technology which will give us the the possibility of the mWallet, that will allow immediate Contactless payment within retailers. If you are interested in what SAP are doing in this space check out Sybase365 here
You may like to check out an interesting article by Jennifer Van Grove of Venturebeat.com on “How Starbucks is turning itself into a tech company“
I wrote the above the week before 11 June and after listening to the WWDC 2012 Keynote and taking an initial look at Passbook for iOS6, I’m thinking that my thoughts on the way Mobile Retail is evolving, is spot on. Passbook will place all things such as coupons, barcodes etc in one secure place. I am sure that it will evolve into the iWallet.
Please follow me on Twitter @ithain