We all sense that the growth and adoption of mobile technology is extraordinary. And at a fascinating seminar led by Andrew Hawn and David Luttenberger of Iconoculture at the FIT campus in New York yesterday, some facts were presented about retail usage of mobile devices that certainly seemed to confirm this.
1. In the last year the time spent using a mobile device has increased from 43 to 81 minutes per day
2. 73% of consumers prefer using their mobile device at retail for product information rather than relying on a salesperson for advice
3. 78% of smart phone users use their phone when they shop
4. 70% of desktop product information queries lead to sales in a week, while 70% of mobile queries lead to sales in one hour
These statistics, and many others like them, support the explosion that is taking place in the adoption of mobile devices and demonstrate the excitement people are feeling about their usage at retail. But I was mostly NOT feeling really excited yesterday. Unfortunately most of the examples shown were decidedly boring and derivative, simply mundane examples of old-school promotion programs using QR codes for activation technology. Really boring, and I’ll call this Mobile 1.0 thinking.
But anyone who takes time to consider the potential of this technology knows it is capable of much much more. And this potential was demonstrated with what Tesco has launched in South Korea. This is a mobile activation idea so extraordinary that it could simply change the whole premise of retail.
As the video above demonstrates, their Home Plus stores have set up virtual retail shops in subway stations. These walls have no real products, just images of product packages with QR codes. Shoppers can select items for purchase by scanning the code on a simulated store shelf. The items are then soon delivered to the shopper’s home. Now imagine a virtual Stop & Shop in Grand Central Station, or a virtual Walgreen’s at O’Hare Airport!
While everyone else has been fooling around with Mobile 1.0 ideas, Tesco has shown us how exciting, and groundbreaking, Mobile 2.0 technology will be.