In a move that will see the realisation of profit from the brick and mortar retailers as well as the service providing companies such as cisco and facebook, the shopping experience is a way that will ease the customers job of looking for the perfect goods and instead, the retailer is able to go to the customer and an additional of the friends which is accessible via facebook. The privacy of this is also guaranteed.
Bolingbroke: There's a big demographic of customers which loves checking in--which this lets you do--and is receptive to offers and discounts. The data from the Cisco network, combined with Facebook demographics, should be able to make those offers very specific to customers.
mhhfive: No, it absolutely doesn't stop them from showrooming. What it does is give put the brick and mortar retailers on a level playing field with online sources, allowing them to address customers directly and make targeted offers.
Anyone who signs up for this, and then continues to allow Amazon to undersell them, is wasting the opportunity.
Good point. I think the delays definitely play a factor here. That's definitely a security issue that should be addressed, and I'm sure they will be doing something to ensure that the system stays safe.
You have a point, Alison. I didn't think of it that way. But now that this is out there, I'm curious: who are Facebook and Cisco, with their retail partners, targeting with this service? It would be interesting to see stats of how it is doing so far, maybe even a timeline to see its development.
This could be a big hit with the tween/teen market. They're already in the malls because tht's where they lurk. And many are not allowed to use cell service to go online because of their parents. They always, then, seek free WiFi passwords to get service (tip: if you ever really need to get a WiFi password, just ask the nearest teen. He or she will know it.). Of course, the only problem here is that they don't always have money -- but this could be a boon for stores that specifically cater to teens, since this group always seems to get enough cash for clothes, accessories, phone cases, etc.
It could help in the sense that if the issue is comparison shopping, the phone could go out, search online competitors and then tell the user how the in store price compares. You might say that then cuts out the profit margin, but factor in immediate gratification and shipping costs. Suddenly you are no longer hesitating about taking home that iPhone because it's the best price overall. And if you continue shopping your store might be willing to make better deals if you spend over $400 dollars, give you free miles or offer coupons. Or else, even try to upsell you if a more expensive item with more features is right there.
So this is the difference between "flying blind" when shopping, and the web mode of total, but 2-dimensional information, blended together.
Alhtough wifi is a great convenience for many, in some cases the delay caused while shopper compare prices may just negate a quick sale. And I wonder how the reliance on Facebook logins will ulimately workout. It seems so many place give that option that it's maybe putting all ones eggs in one basket.
Don't push the metaphor too far, mhhfive. :) It won't save retailers lives, but it'll give them a boost.
Or maybe the metaphor is accurate after all. If you're drowing and someone throws you a lifeline, you're not saved yet. You still have to grab it and use it to get to shore.
Knowing where people are going in a store can be helpful in deciding product placement.
Ultimately, technology won't save brick-and-mortar businesses. What will save them is the ability for immediate gratification, and helpful -- human! -- salespeople. But both of those factors can be empowered by technology.
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