Be fun, smart, attentive, and efficient.

Your significant other will be jealous of your application!

1 Make it fun!

Designing an application that is fun doesn’t mean it has to be a game. Remember, your shoppers still have goals you need to support. Think of fun in terms of making it engaging, compelling, enjoyable and collaborative. Each of these elements are known to increase continuance, satisfaction, loyalty and motivation. Perhaps you can incorporate social shopping features, like real-time collaborative shopping*, or just lighten up the language you use. When an experience is fun, the shopper is more motivated to use it and satisfied with the outcome.

*check out Instacart’s social shopping feature. It is simple, yet powerful!

2 Do the thinking for them (without being creepy or pushy).

Fundamental to the perceived value of a pervasive application is how well it augments and extends the cognitive abilities of the shopper. Our applications should make shopping lists and cart contents readily available; display how much money the shopper has spent and how to find the best deal; and be on-call with information relevant to the task at hand. While the list of features that might support a shopper in this sense are extensive, there are a few that designers of pervasive retail applications should seriously consider:

  • Show the shopper what the product label can’t. Product information is a strong influence on purchase decisions. Shoppers are unique individuals who want different things from the products they purchase. So, while we need to include more comprehensive detail of a product than is printed on its packaging, the default view should be minimal. Let the shopper choose when and where to focus, and let the application progressively present the requested detailed information.

  • Allow for constant visibility of cart contents and cost. The ability to monitor the total cost of items in a shoppers’ cart is one of the most attractive features for pervasive shopping applications [82]. It helps shoppers monitor their budget more effectively than traditional in-store shopping [83] and fosters trust in the store/brand.

  • Facilitate list building, editing, collaboration and sharing. Lists are one of the most important (if not the most important) steps when planning a shopping trip.

    Lists, in general, help people focus and decrease the amount of cognitive effort it takes them to complete a task [57]. It essentially becomes an extension of their mind. List information should be used to feed the profile of the individual as well as filter the view of the environment (see Reduce Complexity of the Physical Environment). They can be the most powerful and relevant explicit inputs that define the holistic ‘personality’ of the shopper. Design simple, cross-channel, multi-device and collaborative features that help shoppers build, edit, organize and dynamically check items off their lists.

3 Assume shoppers have better things to do.

Much to retailers chagrin, shoppers don’t always want to hang out and wander around their stores. We must approach our designs with the assumption that the shopper has a goal that we need to support. If we don’t support their goals, our applications will lose their attention quickly and end up in the junk drawer of unused applications. Some rules you should consider include:

  • Expedite their access to necessities to afford them more time to explore.Features designed to help shoppers navigate the store should be proactive. When our application is one (or two) step(s) ahead of the shopper, it helps alleviate uncertainty and minimize the negative effects of time-pressure.

  • Show the shopper what’s available, where she needs to go and how to get there with the least amount of stress.She will be more confident that she has time to explore.

  • Provide a smart, predictive, natural language search. Difficulty finding items through search has a profound negative effect on shoppers’ ability and willingness to purchase. Provide a method to search for products and accommodate for the nuances of how individuals communicate (think “soda” vs. “‘pop”). Search is important, but should not be the primary focus. Remember, these applications are meant to be used “in the wild.” Just think of search as a crutch (just make sure it’s a damn good one!).

  • Know your inventory, then let the shopper know immediately if the item they want is out of stock. Don’t let them waste their time navigating to a product that isn’t there. Inventory awareness opens up the opportunity to use what you know of the shopper to recommend highly relevant alternatives.

  • Provide a smart checkout. If you know what the shopper has in their cart (ideally, you will), let them bypass or minimize their time in the checkout queue. According to Kourouthanassis, et. al. , this is the most attractive proposed feature for shoppers, especially time-sensitive and recreational shoppers.

  • 18 References informed this principle

    [1] Al-maghrabi, T; Dennis, C; Vaux Halliday, S & BinAli, A Determinants of Customer Continuance Intention of Online Shopping, International Journal of Business Science and Applied Management, Vol. 6, No. 1, 41--66, 2011.

    [2] Bhattacharya, Sourav & Floren, P, Ma \$ \$ iv-An Intelligent Mobile Grocery Assistant Intelligent, 2012.

    [3] Bhattacharya, Sourav & Pulkkinen, Teemu, Monstre: A mobile navigation system for retail environments on Smart Mobile, 2011.

    [4] Bohnenberger, Thorsten & Jameson, Anthony, Location-aware shopping assistance: Evaluation of a decision-theoretic approach, Computer Interaction, 2002.

    [5] Halvey, M & Keane, M T Memory zones for online supermarket shopping, Vol. 2, No. ii, 586-590, 2004.

    [6] Hui, Sam K.; Bradlow, Eric T. & Fader, Peter S., Testing Behavioral Hypotheses Using an Integrated Model of Grocery Store Shopping Path and Purchase Behavior, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 36, No. 3, 478-493, October 2009.

    [7] Kourouthanassis, P & Roussos, G, Developing consumer-friendly pervasive retail systems, IEEE Pervasive Computing, 32-39, 2003.

    [8] Kourouthanassis, Panos E.; Giaglis, George M. & Vrechopoulos, Adam P., Enhancing user experience through pervasive information systems: The case of pervasive retailing, International Journal of Information Management, Vol. 27, No. 5, 319-335, October 2007.

    [9] Li, Ian; Dey, AK & Forlizzi, Jodi, Understanding my data, myself: supporting self-reflection with ubicomp technologies, Conference on Ubiquitous computing, 2011.

    [10] Ohanian, R & Tashchian, A, Consumers' Shopping Effort and Evaluation of Store Image Attributes: The Roles of Purchasing Involvement and Recreational Shopping Interest, Journal of Applied Business, 2011.

    [11] Pantano, Eleonora & Laria, Giuseppe, Innovation in Retail Process: From Consumers' Experience to Immersive Store Design, Journal of technology management and innovation, Vol. 7, No. 3, 194-206, 2012.

    [12] Park, CW; Iyer, ES & Smith, DC, The Effects of Situational Factors on In-Store Grocery Shopping Behavior: The Role of Store Environment and Time Available for Shopping, Journal of Consumer Research, 1989.

    [13] Roussos, George & Moussouri, Theano, Consumer perceptions of privacy, security and trust in ubiquitous commerce Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 8, No. 6, September 416-429, 2004.

    [14] Roussos, George; Tuominen, Juha; Koukara, Leda; Seppala, Olli; Kourouthanasis, Panos; Giaglis, George; Frissaer, Jeroen; Rxndud, H G D, A case study in pervasive retail, Workshop on Mobile, 90-94, 2002.

    [15] Satyanarayanan, M, Pervasive computing: vision and challenges, Ieee Personal Communications, Vol. 8, No. 4, 10-17, 2001.

    [16] Savage, Norma Saiph & Baranski, Maciej, I’m feeling LoCo : A Location Based Context Aware Recommendation System in Location-Based Recommendation System, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012.

    [17] An Exploratory Look at Supermarket Shopper Paths, J. Larson, E. Bradlow, P. Fader, 2005.

    [18] The Extended Mind, A. Clark, D. Chalmers, 1998.

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