Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Mobile is the computer" - "Mobile is my store"

It has been a while since Sun has been saying "The Network is the Computer". But looking at the speed at which the mobile platforms are evolving people should start saying "The Mobile is the Computer".

The world is turning out to be more tech savvy and each and every individual would like to stay connected, irrespectice of the location of presence. This of course means that the physical presence is no more a barrier to stay in touch with people.

"Necessity is the mother of invention' - When the internet boom happened, everyone was getting the information they wanted at their desk. What next? The typical "more" factor of human has forced the technology advancement and has taken this to the next level where it starts deliveing things at your hand and not just at the desk. This is what we call "Information on the go".

Understanding the pottential, the technology players (hardware / software vendors and service providers) have started to develop innovative products and solutions that can fetch the information when you are on the move.

This great development can help the retail industry to move forward and both the retailers and their customers will start getting more value against what they spend.

From retailer's point of view, they need to enable each and every employee of their organization to stay informed (real-time or near-real-time) about any event related to their job. Similar way, retailers need to keep their customers informed to increase the chances of selling more.

While the retailers expand the channels beyond stores such as catalogues, e-commerce, etc., they need to understand that they are all still reactive or semi-reactive. Because they wait for the customers to walk into the store or log into their website to know about their offerings. Where as mobile solutions can make them more pro-active by reaching the customer directly.

For example if a customer visit an electronic retailer and get attracted by a new model laptop that costs $900, he still might want to wait till the price drops to $600. Today, the retailers have implemented this at e-commerce level where the alert regarding the price drop will reach the customer's e-mail. However, the customer need to long into his e-mail, to be aware of this. In this fast moving world, people have started to complain that they do not have time to log into 100 different websites or to check the promotion mails. Infact many times, the customers who have subscribed for the promotion mailers delete their mails with out reading it.

From the retailer's point of view, a high demand merchandise being out of stock at shelf means loss of sales / revenue generation opportunity. In the mobile scenario, if the shelf stock reaches the safety stock limit, the associates can be notified through their mobiles to replenish the item.

It is very evident that not all the employees working with retailers have access to computers and they can stay informed and be more productive with the "Mobile is the computer" factor.

But the factor "Mobile is my store" is applicable to both the store managers and the customers. From manager's view mobile keeps saying how his store is performing. For customers, mobile will enable the most easy way of shopping from both inside and outside shopping.
Simply speaking, extending the 'm-Commerce' and 'm-Office' concept and deploying solutions using the new technology can bring in substantial benefits to retailers and accelerate their ROI.

If you have any views / comments please share the same and also, feel free to write to me at

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