February 21, 2002, 12:00 AM

How m-commerce linked to kiosks can tell a store when a customer is there

If a customer has her shopping list on her PDA and connects it to a store kiosk for information about products, the store can gain valuable data about customers who are in the store and ready to buy, says the head of AccessVia.


If retailers could know what customers wanted to buy when they entered the store, wouldn’t it be easier to sell to them? That¹s the question that Dean A. Sleeper asks. Sleeper is CEO of Access Via, a kiosk company that has a suite of products combining mobile commerce and web kiosks, and is getting ready to announce a major grocery partner for such a program in the next few weeks.

"There are a couple of ways mobile commerce and in-store web kiosks can connect," he says. "One way is developing the customer relationship with a store." He explains that as more consumers rely on mobile devices such as palm pilots and cell phones to track things in their everyday life, such as what groceries they may need, retailers who deploy store kiosks can tap into what those consumers need to buy and improve their shopping experience with the m-commerce/kiosk connection.

Sleeper envisions mobile devices that can scan UPC codes of household products that a consumer may need to shop for. When entering a store with web kiosks, the consumer can connect a mobile phone to the kiosk to get information on product location or special deals. By allowing consumers to connect to a store kiosk, the store would know that the customer is here in the store now and she’s listed what she’s looking for. That gives the store the opportunity to market directly to that customer and expand the store/consumer relationship.

"Mobile commerce is almost the literal bridge between the home and the store for customers," says Sleeper. "Connecting the two for retail purposes changes the customer experience. Improving the customer shopping experience is the largest agenda that we see with retailers."


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