Mobile in Retailing

During the 2014 year-end holiday season in the United States, a number of “showrooming” mobile apps became available. These free mobile showrooming apps allowed shoppers to compare online and in-store prices for an item, within the retail systems of the same store brand (if the apps were store-branded) or across competing stores if the apps were third-party branded. Inside a store, or even at home, shoppers could scan a product’s barcode with the smartphone camera. Some apps had visual image recognition capabilities—even without a barcode scan, based on a photo of the product, the app attempted to recognize the exact product, such as, for example, the title-author-publisher of a book. The showrooming apps then ...

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