Motorola gives preview of upcoming mobile bar code growth. Reports Rapidly Rising sales of imaging scanners
Mobile App use to Soar!
In an exclusive interview with Motorola’s Venkat Sreenivasan of the Motorola Enterprise Division for Software and Applications, it was revealed that the growth of imaging scanners sales are now far exceeding sales growth of traditional scanners. This will presage a wave of retailers implementing a number of mobile bar code applications, as the technology to read the codes must be installed prior to launching the programs. An imaging scanner is one that essentially takes a picture of the bar code and then decodes it. Traditional bar code scanners read the spaces between the lines. Meanwhile, mobile bar code applications are popping up on smartphones everywhere, helping to spur retailers to install imaging scanners.
The anticipated top 4 mobile bar code uses:
#1 mobile coupons – key benefits include being “cheap and green”, also, the coupons are always available, do not require clipping, can utilize “live push” to consumers, and have speedy delivery, as opposed to newspaper or magazine coupons that have to be planned weeks or months in advance. A recent report showed average redemption rates of 5% to 15% for mobile coupons. A number that is sure to decline as the medium becomes more popular and users are inundated with mobile coupons. Still, the first movers in this category seem to be enjoying excess returns, and customers are not complaining. Another consumer benefit is that coupons are never forgotten at home. Motorola expects mobile couponing to be really prevalent in 2012, as progressive retailers and other vendors finish equipping their stores to handle the bar codes.
#2 loyalty cards - benefits include no more carrying fobs on your key ring. Something sure to please those of us who carry a dozen of them, which are always being scrapped off and cease to scan. The loyalty card, and the benefits consumers and businesses receive are meaningful and substantial. How many of us carry Staples, GNC and Panera tags on our key rings and are eager to get our purchases recorded to receive future bonuses!! Having mobile loyalty cards will be a huge plus.
#3 – mobile gift card – Starbucks has it on the phone – its easy to give, easy for a recipient to carry. Less costly for the merchant – not having to produce a plastic card. These can be given at the last minute, and also, are not easily lost or left at home. Additionally, the recipient can look up the balance at any time.
#4 – Games and contests - Games have been part of the fast food restaurant business for years – how many millions of us were playing Monopoly at McDonalds like crazy for a while. Even collecting Green Stamps, as a child, was an activity that occupied consumers for many years. Now, a phone allows two way texting, between advertisers and consumers and offers numerous possibilities for meaningful engagement and branding.
Now – what about conventional bar code scanners, you might be thinking. Why can’t they read our phones? Why does the technology have to be update? Part of the answer lies in the fact that traditional laser scanners need some light to be absorbed, and not just reflected. Smartphones are backlit and thus emit light. Not particularly helpful. Additionally, the reflective glass surface on some phones inhibits traditional scanning.
Venkat has been with Motorola for 11 years and is in the Enterprise Division of Software and Applications.
As consumers, many of us are ready and willing to start flashing our membership cards as we enter retailers stores and wait for some magic discounts to appear on our phones!
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