Wednesday, December 03, 2008

iPhone Barcode Scanners are the Future

Stores need to understand their policies on this new consumer-friendly technology quickly.

From ReadWriteWeb:

With the rise of app-laden smartphones like the iPhone and Google's Android OS, now on T-Mobile's G1, many penny-pinching shoppers have downloaded barcode scanning applications onto their mobile devices. These apps allow consumers to compare the prices of merchandise on a store's shelf to competing stores in the area just by taking pictures with their smartphone's camera. The prices are instantly retrieved and displayed on the mobile phone so consumers can know before they buy if they're getting a good deal.

Although consumers may be catching on to this barcode-scanning trend, some stores are still in the dark. For example, a Target store in Michigan recently requested a shopper to stop scanning merchandise, saying it went against store policy. The customer reported the event to the application's makers, Big in Japan, whose app Shop Savvy is a popular download for Android handsets.

I am not talking about stopping people from using the tech. Instead, embracing these folks - at least for now - for the pioneers they are and knowing how their store's reaction will dictate the brand experience. These are the same folks that will Twitter, blog and tell all their friends and network about whatever decision the floor employee makes.

What do you think of this technology and trend? Is it the future?


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