New technologies are working to give consumers the same pace in retail that they get on the rest of the web.
It’s no secret that marketers and retailers have been on the age-old quest to unlock and control impulse purchasing behavior. As a result, many solutions have emerged reflecting their eagerness to funnel their purchase decisions as they take shape.
While EBay and Amazon make their investments in one-hour/same-day delivery services, brands like Mastercard and Giant Food Stores are capitalizing on the instant gratification factor through unique partnerships that unlock the convenience mobile devices afford. Such technologies are taking shape to enable customers to buy what they want on the spot, through media like a TV screen or even a print ad.
An example of this is MasterCard’s partnership with publisher giant Condé Nast to create ShopThis. The software technology augments the tablet reading experience by adding the option to instantly buy items shown or mentioned in an article or an advertisement by tapping on a shopping cart icon. This implies that readers of national publications like Wired, Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, and Brides will have the ability to quickly transition from reading to buying. Garry Lyons, MasterCard’s Chief Innovation Officer told NYTimes that:
We believe any device is potentially a device of commerce, enabling the user to buy what they want from within the content without having to leave the content… There is no reason why ShopThis couldn’t be rolled out when watching a movie or video. You see an actor who has a nice shirt on, you activate ShopThis. This is an example of incubation where we move quietly, test, learn, iterate.
A second example is online grocer Peapod who have an app for customers to restock their household items by scanning barcodes with their phones. In 2012, PeaPod focused on rolling out digital/mobile grocery aisles at commuter rail stations all over the East Coast and Chicago. As a complimentary innovation, they’ve also developed a technology for scanning a QR code off a TV screen to redeem coupons.
Such tech innovations are giving consumers immediate access to information and purchasing, leading to a culture that expects instant retail gratification and greater reliance on mobile technology throughout the shopping experience.