Reclaiming Brick and Mortar
I am a jerk. I use physical retail stores as showcases for Amazon. In a store, I scan products I’m interested in with the Amazon iOS app, and if the price is good, I’ll buy the product online, then and there.
When it comes to boutiques like independent bookstores, I feel terrible about this, so I also try to actually buy things in stores. But, honestly, most of the time I don’t.
Fermyon’s Shoppin’ Pal app is one effort to bring an Amazon app experience to shoppers at boutiques, and to help stores get some of their lost-to-online revenue back.
It sounds like a useful app and it’s a good demo. When you scan the barcode of an item on a shelf, you get data about it, provided by the store. You might also see an “other buyers liked” list. You might even be able to complete the purchase in the app, just like you do at an Apple store if you’re using that company’s retail app.
Also, in-app special deals can help convince shoppers to buy what they’re seeing, instead of firing up Amazon.
Store owners get not just more sales and electronic receipts, but logs of what users scanned and didn’t buy. If the data gets mashed up with data from users’ visits to other stores that use the app, the analytics get even more interesting.
Amazon’s mobile apps have done a number on retail. It would be good to see boutiques get an app to fight back.
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