Investigating Mobile Experience in a Retail Setting

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Dr. Jonathan Engelsma, jonathan_engelsma@gvsu.edu

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It has been predicted that the smartphone market will grow by thirty percent yearly until the year 2012. Due in a large part to this trend, companies in many different markets are exploring the effects and benefits of creating mobile experiences as yet another channel to reach their customers. My project sought to partner with a local grocery store to explore bringing a mobile experience into a retail setting. Through many discussions, and the use of rapid prototypes an effective design was decided upon with the help of the store's information technology management. The finally use case we settled on was a digitalized version of the store's weekly ad flier that appears in the newspaper. In order to encourage shoppers to use their mobile phones while in the store, we also added features such as a product locator, and a "context aware" feature where special in-store offers are presented to the user only when they are in the vicinity of the store. A functional prototype of the entire application has been developed. We have incorporated Google Analytics and other features that will enable us to measure the impact of the action in a future pilot study involving real shoppers.

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