Mobile Solutions for Retailers

Treena Colby
Tuesday, Oct 04, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Consumer spending has been falling the past couple of years, so retailers have to be creative both in-store and virtually to entice shoppers to spend their money. With Microsoft Tag, both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are keeping shoppers engaged, informed and empowered thanks to the power of mobile commerce. Through a variety of implementations, Tags are solving some of retailers’ biggest pain points: 

Keeping people in stores

Lowe’s is using Tag to create a virtual bridge, connecting their stores to their online and app worlds. Shoppers can scan Tags throughout the store to watch DIY videos, get additional product info, and check out product reviews. In addition, the Tags are used for decorating ideas, possibly inspiring a shopper to buy other items. If they are no longer in the store, the app uses GPS to find their closest Lowe’s store.

Knowledgeable sales associates (or lack thereof)

Retailer’s biggest nightmare is a shopper who wants to buy but can’t find a sales associate to help. Even worse is that shopper may find a salesperson, but they do not have the answer to their question. Tags on shelves and store displays are augmenting a store’s sales force by providing information on products to help consumers make a product and purchasing choice.   

shelf talker image

Informed shoppers and price comparison shopping

Retailers know that an informed shopper is the best shopper and through the use of Tags, consumers can be confident that the product that they buy is the best one for them at the best price. Lowe’s is using Tags for additional product information, and Burpee is using Tags on each of their products for gardening tips and retailer listings, just to name a couple of examples. Stores and manufacturers know if they give shoppers the information they crave and show them where the best price can be obtained, ca-ching, they have a sale.


Speaking of the best price, savvy retailers are using Tags to give instant coupons by scanning Tags on store and product displays. All the shopper has to do is scan the Tag and show the coupon to the cashier. It is just the thing to tip a shopper to buying right there on the spot, and it saves the shopper from the hassle of cutting coupons. (We'll have a more in-depth look at couponing on Thursday.) 

Extending the usefulness of gift cards

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with gift cards. I love to give and get them, but then they sit in my wallet or I wonder if the ones I give are being unused as well. Now with the use of Tags on gift cards, the love percentage is much higher. Consumers can find out how much is left on their cards and receive promotions and retailers can help redeemers find the closest store or connect with mobile shopping sites.

Gift Card image

Advertising and catalogs

I don’t know how many times I have browsed a catalog, found something I liked, and then put the catalog down, never to actually pick it back up and buy the item. JC Penney is making catalog shopping super easy by having Tags throughout their printed catalog with scan to buy options as well as mobile couponing and product recommendations. So now the shopping experience is, “Ooh, I like that item! Scan and buy.” It’s super easy for all those impulse (and informed) buys.

Making contests and promotions more interesting

Dillard’s recently used Tags for a back-to-school promotion, where the Tag was placed prominently on in-store signage for the contest. By scanning, users were brought to a contest fill-out form. In-store Tags are a good way to engage customers at the point-of-sale and keep them occupied when they are waiting to check out or for a significant other in the fitting room.

Online tools

How many times have you found the perfect item, but the store doesn’t carry your size or the color that you want? Now, how many times did you take the time to ask a clerk to help you? With Tags, you can scan and help yourself to information on where you can get the item of your dreams–either from a different store or online—in the color and size that you want.

mobile retail phone image

How would you use Tags to engage and inform shoppers? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Recent Comments
  • greg flakus

    10/04/2011 , 6:49 PM
    What about a sports team tying results on the field to tag..scan a player photo who you think will score the most points tonight and if you are correct scan again in the merchandise store for a discount..you have to option and give your email address to win. Or scan the player tag and get the latest updated stats for that player Or scan the program when you come in and get instant highlights of the last game or league highlights on your phone
  • Annette

    10/04/2011 , 7:49 PM
    Starting to use tag to give home buyers information about the home.....No flyers needed www.TaggedinSoUtah.com More ideas coming.....


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