Tech company IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced Friday a retail technology that allows consumers to scan items into a mobile phone as they shop the aisles, then check themselves out at an IBM self-checkout station.
Designed to help retailers provide a more customized in-store shopping experience for smart phone shoppers, the IBM Mobile Shopper application incorporates Honeywell (NYSE: HON) mobile scanning technology capable of scanning virtually any bar code, no matter what background it is printed on, the direction it faces, or the packaging covering it.
The solution currently runs on the Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems. It offers sub-second response time, according to IBM.
According to a recent IBM Institute of Business Value study, self checkout is the preferred way to shop for most consumers today, and they are very specific about the way they want to use mobile technology while shopping.
More than 50 percent say they want to use a mobile device to scan while shopping, and to do final checkout at a self-checkout station. More than 40 percent want to scan samples and retrieve shopping items for pickup, or have the items delivered directly to their homes.
“Retailers can now deliver a more personalized shopping experience that is less of a chore and more of a convenience for consumers,” says John Gaydac, vice president, IBM Retail Store Solutions. “By enabling consumers to scan and check-out a wide variety of products at their own pace, retailers can not only create a more customized shopping environment, but also increase in-store traffic.”
The new mobile phone application is powered by IBM ACE software, Store Integrator software, and the newest release of IBM Self-Checkout software, which provides shoppers the same access to digital coupons, loyalty programs and special promotions at self-checkout stations that is traditionally available at fully-staffed point-of-sale checkout lanes.
The IBM Mobile Shopper, or “digital shopping assistant,” incorporates Honeywell’s SwiftDecoder Mobile bar code decoding software.