Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed a variety of usage scenarios in the retail industry where smartphone-based barcode scanning is being leveraged for a wide variety of purposes. Today we’ll continue this discussion by looking at how retailers are utilizing mobile wallet apps.
Customer Loyalty in the Past
In the past, consumers would spend hours going through the newspaper cutting out coupons and organizing them by hand. Similarly, over the years many retail locations have provided plastic cards to consumers which give them access to deals and promotions. This is the retail world of deals before smartphones. As of February 2013 Nielsen reported that 53% of mobile phones in the United States were smartphones. To capitalize on this trend retailers have begun providing digital alternatives to physical loyalty cards and coupons by utilizing mobile wallet apps.
Mobile Wallet Apps
Not all mobile wallet apps are created equal. Some simply store loyalty cards, some process payments and some include coupons and deals. For example, Apple’s Passbook allows developers to create loyalty cards or tickets which users can store, but it will not process payments. On the other end of the spectrum you have ISIS, which not only stores cards but also processes payments. ISIS is limited in that at the moment it’s only available for a select group of stores in the Austin and Salt Lake City markets. Despite the differences, one thing they all do is store digital versions of some real world object that contains a barcode, whether that is a loyalty card or a coupon. By adding the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK to a mobile wallet app developers can create a seamless loyalty card and coupon upload experience for their users. The user simply scans the barcode on the card or coupon to add it to the mobile wallet. Check out this video to get a sense of how our barcode scanning technology works:
Once the user has uploaded their loyalty cards and coupons to the mobile wallet app, developers can utilize a technology like Mobeam to ensure that the cards and coupons can be read digitally by laser scanners at the point of sale. Another trend to note is that increasingly mobile wallets and more generic mobile shopping apps are converging. The resulting apps not only offer loyalty functionality but also provide typical mobile shopping features such as list making, price comparison, mobile purchasing and access to detailed product information.
Build or Enhance a Mobile Wallet App
So you’re convinced, it’s time to build or enhance a mobile wallet app. What needs to happen next?
1) Decide if you want to build an original solution, hire a solution provider to build one, or build on top of an existing solution (examples: Passbook, ISIS)
2) Decided which platforms you’d like the app to run on.
3) Assess which systems you need the app to work with. Do you use an integrated retailing system?
What kind of database does the app need to connect to?
4) Identify the features you need, and find the best software components for the job.
(Our Barcode Scanner SDK is perfect for card and coupon uploading, and reading barcodes off screens; Mobeam is excellent for allowing laser scanners to read barcodes off screens).
5) Build and test your app (or have a solution provider build it for you).
6) Deploy and Enjoy!
Need help making a decision? Our sales staff is here to help. Contact us for more information.
Stay tuned for more usage scenarios including a look at sales empowerment apps and package pickup and delivery apps coming soon!