When camera phones have the ability to scan barcodes, they become kiosks, only mobile. What information will you want, or will the brand want to give you?
Price comparison is the only feature that the public thinks about when they hear a barcode can be scanned using a mobile phone.
The barcode, is really a hyperlink, and will allow access to a variety of information and services on any product, from any location, through the Internet.
From TMC Net Kiosks put shoppers in touch
Tamara Mendelsohn, a consumer markets analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, said store operators, should look into kiosks to attract the elusive but lucrative pool of cross-channel shoppers, which she termed "key to revenue generation in the next era of retailing."
An example of a physical world hyperlink in use comes from Virgin Megastores. Virgin recognized that
Virgin Megastores customers can access the Virgin Vault, an interactive kiosk system that plays movie clips and music and offers access to reviews from independent publications like Rolling Stone or The New York Times. All a user must do is scan a barcode.
The company is looking into ways its kiosks can cross-sell items by suggesting a similar sounding album, style of video game or different movie featuring the same starring actor.
"They're getting 400,000 look-ups per month," Mendelsohn said of kiosks' popularity among Virgin customers. What would the number be if you could do this with a camera phone?
Imagine if Virgin introduced an application that allowed you to scan a barcode on any CD or DVD for a song preview or one minute trailer.
Why couldn't Virgin Mobile offer a music download service in conjunction with Virgin Mega Stores?