Sunday, July 31, 2005
Price Comparison Through A Barcode Thoughts
Finally the press is discovering how the physical world will be connected through a cell phone through a barcode. It is disheartening to see both the press and the public fixated on one aspect of what can be done with this.
Price comparison shopping.
I equate this to Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone and somebody said “hey, we can now make prank calls!”.
This is remarkable stuff and this is the application people want to use it for?
The Internet has made all retailers more efficient with their pricing. The WalMart’s and supermarket chains all have spies that check prices of their competitors all the time.
Electronic devices? I just don’t see comparing prices on a big ticket item which is a NON-IMPULSE buy. Let’s just say you do decide to price compare a Sony DVD player at BestBuy.
You click the barcode, and find it’s 5$ cheaper at Circuit City. With gas prices at $3 a gallon, and the most common vehicle an SUV, is it REALLY CHEAPER?
Mobile marketing is just starting to kick in and more advertising dollars are going to mobile campaigns. Advertisers/brands are finding new ways to make shopping with their brand more rewarding.
I can’t see any brand manager asking, “is there any new exciting technology that we can use to shrink our margins?”
Yeah, I know what you’re going to say, “this is an application that puts the power in the hands of the consumer”. Yes it does, but what real value are you getting with this “power”.
Me, I’d rather click on the barcode of that DVD player and let them send me a free DVD from Amazon. How about clicking on the barcode (after I bought it) to register my info for a warranty. Maybe send me a MMS on how to install to my new High Def TV.
Those are just a couple examples of what you can do when the physical world gets connected. This is worth a lot more than the $5 I would have saved using a price comparison service.
Who knows, I betcha brand might actually work WITH a service like this.
I don’t see brands or mobile marketing companies getting anywhere near a price comparison service.
Think about it this way. The Internet came into existence, and what were the first applications people adopted, email and search. There’s this exciting new world out there and people had a thirst for knowledge and information.
Remember how many search engines there used to be? Sure you know all the names, Google, AskJeeves, Yahoo, AlltheWeb, A9 etc. There WERE many but the list has been consolidated.
Ask yourself to name one price comparison site……Not just Froogle. See what I mean?
So next time you hear a story about clicking on a barcode for price comparison, think of other forms of info that you would like to know about that product, besides who sells it cheaper.