Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cell Phones As Shopping Carts?...Where will the kids ride?

I am very intrigued by the new Datamatrix barcodes beginning to be used in China. The new barcodes placed on billboards and other types of print ads, allow people to take a picture of the code with their cell phone and then be directed to more information about the product. This can range from being taken to the stores website to viewing an entire movie trailer. The idea behind the barcode is to allow the ad viewer to appreciate the ad without a bunch of words and then create a call to action by directing them to a website From the studies done so far, there seems to be little valid interest in the technology due to the infiltration of bothersome mobile marketing and social norms. You will never see me standing in the middle of the road taking pictures of billboards. But with the new technologies emerging, such as digital window shopping at Ralph Lauren NYC I do see other, more acceptable uses for this technology...

One marketing ploy that I definitely would enjoy is the option of mobile shopping in a store. I often find myself wandering around a store thinking about buying all of things that I cant afford until payday. If I was able to go shopping with my cell phone in hand and take pictures of the things I wanted, have them stored on my phone until payday, and then reminded on payday with an option to have the product on my doorstep in three days, I would most likely make a purchase every payday. You may say there would be no need to go back to the store if you had everything available on your phone, but window shopping is not fun for all. I personally hate shopping when I know I cannot buy anything due to lack of funds. It is the worst kind of torture. So being able to shop when I have time and not feel guilty about maxing out credit cards would be incredible. Friday would never come fast enough. Of course there are obstacles such as payment security, privacy issues and distribution execution but imagine the benefits.

What woman would see that big red purse she had been eyeballing for an hour last Tuesday, pop up on her phone Friday at five o'clock with a special loyal customer price tag, and not purchase it? Am I crazy or could this actually work?

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