Target recently added a barcode scanning feature to its existing iPhone app. The new feature allows shoppers to scan an item's barcode instore and instantly receive product reviews, ratings, and see the availability of that item on Target.com or at other Target locations.
This is an interesting glimpse into the future of retail as the lines between online and offline shopping become blurred. Today's consumers have become accustomed to things like product comparisons, reviews, and ratings via online shopping. As consumers we are becoming less and less reliant on retail sales-people as a credible source for product information. We are looking more and more to our peers, who have had experiences with the products we seek to buy, to help us form our opinions and make purchase decisions.
Smart retailers understand that the future success of brick-and-mortar stores is going to rely on their ability to adapt to these shifts in shopping behavior. With what may seem like a small addition to an existing app, Target has taken a big step forward in catering to this behavioral shift.
What other retailers have you seen beginning to incorporate online shopping experiences at retail?