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Mobile technology impacts the retail landscape

Anuradha Shukla | Jan. 17, 2013
Big names like eBay and Apple are investing in mobile as part of their core strategy.

Mobile technology is making an impact on the retail landscape, according to SAS retail executive advisor, Lori Schafer, co-author of Branded: How Retailers Engage Customers with Social Media and Mobility.

Established players like Amazon, Apple, eBay, Facebook and Google are investing in mobile as a part of their core strategy to gain competitive advantage.

Schafer and her co-author Bernie Brennan, former chairman of the National Retail Federation, say that these reputed players or "Tech Titans" are changing the face of retail.

This trend has encouraged other retailers to use mobile technology to avoid losing out in the race.

"Each of the Tech Titans has made vast investments in mobile as part of their core strategy, and it's having a significant effect on retail," said Lori Schafer. "Whether introducing prospective customers to new merchandise on a tablet through Instagram, Pinterest or Google Shopping or letting customers pay using a smartphone, the future is at the crossroads of mobile and analytics."

No check-out lines

Mobile technology is impacting the retail landscape as it erases the check-out lines and staff required for traditional brick and mortar shops. Apple's iStore payment system allows buyers to scan a barcode using their phone's camera and pay through iTunes.

eBay and Home Depot use mobile technology for payments and social media giant Facebook is becoming more mobile-friendly. eBay has invested US$5 billion in mobile technology and Home Depot offers a PayPal "mobile wallet" option at every check-out counter.

Schafer and Brennan probed how the Tech Titans are using mobility strategies during a session earlier this week at New York City.

"Until recently, the Titans had separate niches," Schafer continued. Today, they are reinventing retail, communications, financial services, entertainment, travel and technology services. And mobile technologies are especially important to their success. This is an amazing time of technology innovation for retailers."


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