Shopping apps are driving digitalization in retail

Shopping apps like shopkick make a significant contribution to the future of retail. Just how important digitization and mobile services are for the industry is also shown by the current debate on so-called disturber liability. Here fast decisions and simple solution are required.

Digitalization and technologies such as beacons, WLAN, QR or barcodes are among the current topics in retail, but according to a recent study by Fujitsu , the majority of retailers do not have a clear digital strategy. The shopping app will show shopkick ( iOS and Android ) how retailers of the future can be designed .

The app of the company founded by Cyriac Roeding in the USA in 2010 has been usable in Germany since October 2014. It relies on beacon transmitters and ultrasound technology to capture user movement. The app motivates users to enter stores and ultimately collect points, so-called kicks, and in turn exchange them into vouchers. The kicks are already there when crossing the threshold. Additional bonuses are then available for scanning barcodes on products or in-app purchases. As a digital shopping companion, shopkick wants to advance the future of mobile shopping. Partners include MediaSaturn, Douglas, Penny, Obi, Reno and Karstadt. According to the manufacturer, the app has now over 2 million users in this country.

However, the system still encounters some obstacles. So a stable Internet connection is the basic requirement for mobile services. Often, this is not the case in business, for structural reasons, for example. According to the HDE dealer survey , around half of retailers would therefore like to offer their customers free WLAN. Here, however, the so-called Storerhaftung comes into play, which is not yet clear.

“The retailer must be able to offer its customers easy Wi-Fi access. Offers like shopkick are otherwise only limited usable. That’s why we finally need a political decision to accelerate digitization in retail, “says Stefanie Ludecke, Managing Director of shopkick Germany.

Only last week , Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt (CSU) had spoken out in favor of significantly lowering the legal hurdles for a nationwide introduction of open WLAN access in Germany.

The company is currently testing offline use of the app at the point of sale. In the meantime, dealers and customers should be able to benefit from the service without WLAN in the meantime. However, according to Lüdecke, this can not be a permanent alternative: “Despite the ongoing digitization in the retail sector, the purchase decision is largely made at the point of sale. Our app inspires the user and advises him on shopping. We want to take traders to the new world – but that will only work if the legal and technical conditions are right. “

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