How to leverage mobile commerce to increase store visits


describe the imageAs the end of summer nears, families everywhere are preparing to send children back to school. That means it's time to buy everything from new clothes and sneakers to notebooks, pens and pencils.

It doesn't quite rival the holiday shopping season, but this is still a pretty important time for retailers around the world. As a recent Ad Age report pointed out, many companies are focusing on mobile commerce strategies to drive consumers to visit their brick-and-mortar retail locations.

This is just another way that retailers are leveraging mobile commerce to drive sales. Here are a few of the ideas retailers are throwing out there, hoping they stick.

Location-based apps

Check-ins are all the rage with mobile device users. Everyone seems to want to tell their friends all about where they are and who they're with. And everyone from Facebook and foursquare to Yelp and SCVNGR are taking notice.

In addition to becoming the "mayor" of a location, these applications can also be used as effective marketing tools for mobile commerce retailers. Through these applications, a consumer is presented with deals and special promotions at nearby stores.

Inventory applications

According to Ad Age, shoe retailer Finish Line unveiled a mobile application that uses inventory information. A consumer can see what products are in stock at specific Finish Line locations, so he or she can be sure that the new kicks they want are in stock before making the trip.

Barcode scanning

Smartphones have certainly added to the greater use of QR Codes, or quick response codes. They're those funny looking barcodes you now see everywhere, including movie posters and print advertisements.

When QR codes are scanned using an app, consumers are taken to mobile websites to learn more about whatever product is being promoted. This can also be used as a way to drive sales.

Traditional RFID barcodes are also getting increased attention because of mobile commerce. Amazon has released an app that allows users to scan RFID barcodes in order to compare product specs or prices at various locations.

Like smartphones and tablets, mobile commerce is everywhere these days. According to the Mobile Commerce Survey released by L.E.K. Consulting, 66 percent of smartphone and tablet owners have used their devices to make retail purchases. Thirty-nine percent do so at least once each month.

Are you ready for mobile?