Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (NYSE:WMT) – trying to wall-in profits via mobile apps
In mid-May Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s global head, Gibu Thomas said that the company is adopting an audacious yet simple mobile strategy. It seeks to create mobile applications that will prove to indispensable tools for its customers while they are shopping online or at Wal-Mart stores. The company has stumbled upon a very bright idea that will tell customers what they can buy, using their mobile devices.
More than geo-fencing
A massive collection of data is used in conjunction with big data to turn this into a distinct possibility. Big data is leveraged, to develop predictive capabilities that will automatically generate a shopping-list for the customers. This will be based on their weekly purchases. The company is already using the Geo-fencing feature. This particular application senses when a customer is in a U.S Wal-Mart store. The user will then be prompted to switch into “Store Mode”. This will permit them to scan the QR codes on products for discounts and prices. In addition to this, the user can also use a voice-command and the application will look for a specific item within a particular budget and a list is generated.
Everyone’s using it
The tool in itself is a powerful one. Retailers such as Target and Apple offer “store mode” as well. Stores are geo-fenced and switch to the experience that is relevant to the in-store shopper once the person is in the store. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s shopping app helps with things like helping you manage your budget, tallying your basket, way-finding, and also checking out. Shoppers have the option to sign up for alerts if they want to and they will receive messages once they are within range. Most retailers are doing trial runs on it but have not been able to confirm how successful it is. There is a distinct possibility that some shoppers will find the geo-fencing strategy a very intrusive one. However, what retailers are hoping is that apps such as these will have the mass appeal quotient.