The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

High-Tech Approach to In-Store Services

With more and more consumers shopping with their smartphones in hand, bricks-and-mortar retailers are looking for ways to offer more in-store services, such as mapping inventory and mobile advertising networks.

Retailers are trying to better understand their customers through the use of indoor location technology, which can measure how shoppers move through the store. For instance, Walmart is working on a hyperlocal in-store search component for its mobile app that will make it possible for customers to find out the availability of specific items.

Apps are also in the works to deliver special promotions to users based on their location in the store, and in-store mobile advertising could be the next step for big stores, according to Patrick Connolly, senior analyst for ABI Research.

“That is the long-term goal, certainly for the big retailers,” Connolly said in an article in Mobile Commerce Daily. “They will look to launch their own smartphone apps and start building indoor location and mapping, and, ultimately hyperlocal advertising.”

But for the time being, this is technology for large retailers with deep pockets.

“The big retailers are going to make their own decisions and they are going to want to be on the cutting edge,” Connolly said.

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