The Future of Smartphone Shopping

Link to original article.

Date: May 192012

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Author: Ed Valdez

With over 50% of U.S. mobile subscribers owning smartphones, the other half of consumers will be shopping for their first smartphone experience.

According to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, there’s no place better to shop for a smartphone than the Apple Store.

With a score of 83 (out of 100), Apple is head and shoulders above the nearest competitors for customer satisfaction and service. So when will there be a level playing field to all consumers who want a better shopping experience?

With the iQmetrix solutions recently launched, smartphone shoppers will now be able to have the best of both worlds at mobile phone retailers in North America: an online experience during in-store shopping. iQmetrix, the leading provider of retail management software in North America, delivers the future of retail today. Click here for a demo.

Imagine walking into your local mobile phone store and having access to a large touchscreen that enables you to compare plans, smartphones, tablets and mobile apps while getting the best value for your purchase. Or imagine walking into your mobile phone retailer and being given an iPad to not only compare plans, but also look at dynamic interactive demos to experience your next smartphone before you buy it. 73% of shoppers prefer a touchscreen virtual interface in-store (instead of a sales rep) and 54% want a store that offers a combination of web-like and in-store experiences (source: Cisco 2011). The iQmetrix XQ solutions provide both.

iQmetrix develops solutions that create an omni-channel shopping experience to empower retailers, while providing the consumer with consistent shopping experience across online, mobile and in-store channels,” said Christopher Krywulak, iQmetrix President and CEO. Three solutions underpin the ability of the mobile phone retailer to entertain, educate and guide consumers to what they really want:

  • XQ Browse for iPad: a virtual product catalog that allows consumers to select a phone, rate plan, features, accessories and promotions via an in-store touchscreen or a handheld tablet (Apple iPad).
  • XQ AppStream: a retail SaaS solution that enables consumers to display, demo and interact with mobile applications and to scan a QR code to download the app after purchasing a smartphone: one-stop shopping.

The retailers have access to other features like PocketRQ inventory that allows staff to scan a smartphone code and verify in-stock inventory to more quickly satisfy each consumer’s needs. Mobile stores can also dynamically change electronic signage across all affiliated stores via their touchscreen displays to promote the best deals of the day or take advantage of instant seasonal promotions linked to specific holidays.

At CTIA last week, I had the privilege of using the touchscreen demo when I met with Anne Weiler, Vice President of Marketing at iQmetrix. With over 15 million smartphones purchased through iQmetrix solutions, we are constantly improving interactive shopping features so we can deliver a superior customer experience,” stated Weiler. My experience of using a touchscreen to select and compare a few smartphones and features (Apple iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III, and Nokia Lumia) was so much fun that I didn’t want to leave the booth for my next appointment.

Will this match the Apple Store experience? Being an Apple fan myself, this is the closest I’ve seen that makes shopping fun again. The iQmetrix solutions will dramatically increase customer satisfaction because they’re fun, easy to use and interactive so what you see is what you get. The rules of the shopping game will change elsewhere. You can expect that other retailers (department, clothing, sports, etc.) will seek to exceed customer expectations by connecting shoppers with technology they already know to dazzle them to buy.