I'm SHOCKED that retailers have not embraced smartphone users and the mobile web by offering shoppers free wi-fi within the store for a faster web experience. I walked into the Gap today in mid-town Manhattan and couldn't get wi-fi to my Iphone. WTF? Are they afraid, or just not concerned with my need to connect? More and more shoppers are using the mobile web to research products WHILE shopping. Why wouldn't retailers look to enhance this experience by offering them a fast way to explore products online while in the store? Every retailer should offer free wi-fi and embrace the mobile web within it's walls. It would give them the opportunity to create custom content that could ONLY be found in that particular store, a unique advantage over E-tailers.
Today marketing is all about delivering the RIGHT content and the RIGHT moment. What better place to offer unique digital content about products then in the actual store. This content needs to be formatted for ALL smartphone browsers and not just be some fancy fluffy iphone app. The content also should be easy to share and offer some sort of value. (mobile coupons, ect) Think about this... a store could makes it easy for smartphone users to Twitter or Facebook products while in your store. The ideas are endless!
There is an enormous opportunity for brick and mortar stores to capitalize on the mobile web and the connected shopper. Engaging consumers while in the store with valuable, sharable content about their products IS the future.
Where do you fit in? Are you giving away wi-fi to your shoppers? Is your content formatted for the mobile apocalypse?