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MyPhoneApp Store takes bricks-and-mortar approach to selling mobile apps

March 16, 2012

A shopper trails a mobile app at the myPhoneApp Store

National smart device repair chain myPhoneMD has opened a bricks-and-mortar application store in New Orleans to let smartphone owners test and play with some of the most popular mobile apps before they buy them.

In the new myPhoneApp Store, mobile application icons are displayed on boxes on display. Shoppers can pick up a box, learn more about the app and scan a QR code to either give the app a trial run or purchase it.

“The goal of the store is to reduce buyer’s remorse,” said Shaun Walker, creative director at Hero Farm, New Orleans.

”This gives them an opportunity to try out an app and make sure they like it before having to put up their money,” he said. “People also tend to be scared of learning new things or of using the apps, so this removes a lot of the fear as well.

Hero Farm is myPhoneMD’s marketing agency.

Real-world discovery
Making it easy for mobile users to discover new apps is one of the hurdles faced by the app industry. The myPhoneApp Store could help encourage trial – and ultimately sales – for the apps on display in the store.

Shoppers can test the apps for free before deciding if they want to purchase them. The store features Wi-Fi accessibility and roomy sitting areas to make it easy for shoppers to access apps and test them out.

The store also features mobile technology experts to answer shoppers’ questions and a selection of smart devices that shoppers can use to trial apps.

The boxes for each of the apps shows the rating and provides a description of the app in addition to featuring QR codes linking to the app on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

“If shoppers see an app that they like, they can take the icon down and use the in-store devices to test it out,” Mr. Walker said. “They can sit and relax and take as much time as they need.

“If they are interested in buying it, they can use their own phone to purchase it,” he said.

Initially, the store is focusing on some of the most popular apps nationally for both iPhone and Android devices as well as local apps created by developers in New Orleans.

Currently on display in the store are approximately 50 apps, including the top 20 selling apps for Android and the top 20 local apps.

Some of the applications designed specifically for the local market  on display include The Geaux Tigers LSU Football app, the Garden District Historic Mobile Tour app, the Offbeat New Orleans Mobile app and the Election Hub app.

The myPhoneApp Store is located inside the myPhoneMD store on Magazine Street in New Orleans.

MyPhoneMD is looking into expanding the app stores to its other Gulf Coast and East Coast locations in the coming months.

“We wanted to figure out another way to interact with customers, to give them another reason to come into the store and engage with the brand more,” Mr. Walker said.

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