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Retailers embrace in-store mapping via smartphones to facilitate shopping

May 15, 2013

In a sign of the growing role that mobile plays in the in-store shopping experience, more than 12,000 retail locations, including those of Walgreens and The Home Depot are offering indoor searchable store maps accessible from a smartphone.

Using aisle411’s in-store mapping platform, smartphone users can view, search and map products in retail stores. Users are able to locate products down to a particular section of each aisle.

“Shoppers want the mobile in-store experience to be simple, and they want answers extremely fast,” said Nathan Pettyjohn, CEO of aisle411, St. Louis. “Therefore, we’ve found that having a native maps platform where maps can be cached on a mobile device, and searches can be done quickly through a simple Web service enhances the experience and keeps the shoppers engaged.

“Simple product location search results are critical to keeping a shopper engaged,” he said. “Shoppers find that too much information, or too many clicks to find an answer on a mobile device competes with the in-store merchandising experience.

“Therefore, aisle411 designed its search results and maps to be simple and enhance the in-store experience rather than compete with it.”

1.5M searchable products
Some of the other retailers whose store maps are available from aisle411 include Hy-Vee, Price Chopper, Schnucks, Shop ‘n’ Save, Winco and Strack & Van Til.

In addition to store maps for Walgreens and The Home Depot being available via aisel411’s iOS and Android apps, shoppers can also use the RedLaser shopping application to access the searchable store maps.

In addition to maps for 12,000 retail locations, app users can also access 1.5 million searchable product UPCs with store and in-store location as well as more than two million places of interest via the app.

Empowering in-store shoppers
Recent research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that 73 percent of consumers say they have used their mobile phone while shopping.

Other studies suggest shoppers who use apps in stores are significantly more likely to have made a purchase at one of a retailer’s channels compared to those who do not use apps in store.

Additionally, 20 percent of shoppers leave the store without their full purchase intent, according to an aisle411 survey.

This suggests that empowering shoppers with a smartphone to find the products they are interested in quickly and easily can help retailers drive sales.

Aisle411’s results show that use of indoor searchable maps varies by retail category.

For example, in grocery stores, shoppers are mapping their lists, weekly ads and offers. In the Home Improvement category, shoppers tend to be on the hunt and are doing more single product searches.

“Many retailers have invested significant dollars to optimize their ecommerce data so that shoppers can find products, make educated purchase decisions, and buy online,” Mr. Pettyjohn said.

“With 90 percent of commerce still transacting offline, or at the brick and mortar store, aisle411, the market leader for in-store location and commerce, optimizes the store’s product, merchandising and location data,” he said.

“This creates the digital store that can be easily used by shoppers on a mobile device to help them buy.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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