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In the wake of the World Retail Congress Asia Pacific that just took place here in Singapore this week, I thought I’d dedicate a post to how mobile is improving the shopping experience.

I covered the results of SAP’s Global Mobile Consumer survey last fall, which told us that:

·       32% of consumers surveyed have purchased products via their mobile in the last 12 months

·       82% are interested in buying goods and services through their mobiles in the future

·       80% agree that organisations should use any available technology to make life easier for their customers.

Retailers are taking notice, and offering more services via mobile. One example is a customer of ours Loblaws, a Canadian supermarket chain, which last year launched its PC Plus mobile app. (President’s Choice, or PC, is Loblaw’s premium, private-label house brand. PC Plus is the name of the Loblaws loyalty program.)

The mobile app keeps track of what you buy, and then sends offers for those items. When you buy the items, you earn points that you can redeem to save on your grocery bill. The app also includes a shopping list, recipes and a meal planner that all integrate with each other. The app uses data about what you buy and what’s on offer that week to suggest recipes you might like. You can add any you like to your meal planner and send a list of ingredients to the shopping list—and you’re on your way. Here’s the YouTube channel with videos to explain.

When retailers first realized that shoppers were using their mobiles in-store to compare prices and get a look at items they later bought online for less, they cried foul. Now it seems like they’re getting smart: mobile isn’t only a channel from your customers can use to access the Internet, it’s a channel you can use to access them, and provide more value than your online competitors.

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