Friday, April 17, 2009

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

Do you ever wonder which of the technologies you use regularly today will be obsolete in 10 years?

Like phone booths and record albums, the stationary checkout scanner could soon become a thing of the past, thanks to mobile technology developed by Modiv Media. The company’s Modiv Shopper system powers Stop & Shop’s Scan It! handheld scanners, which allow customers to scan and bag their items while shopping and then pay at a self-service station once they’re finished.

The system also allows Stop & Shop to simultaneously deliver coupons and promotions to consumers based on their individual shopping history. Other retailers using Modiv Media include Giant Eagle, Giant Food, Ukrop's Super Markets, and Roche Bros.

The Hartford Courant reports that while the Modiv system isn’t cheap — somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 — it can pay big dividends for stores. Shoppers who use the system reportedly spend an average of 10% more during each visit and also increase the frequency of their visits by 10%.

This is yet another example of the growing trend toward retail mobility that I’m hearing about from vendors and retailers. Keith Schroer, VP of sales and marketing for PartnerTech, a POS systems and kiosk manufacturer, told me that he thinks mobility represents “the future of retail” and that his company plans to release three new mobile units for retailers within the next 60 days. “We’re betting on mobility being the next generation,” he said.

Mobile technology still has a few hurdles to clear before it gains mainstream retail acceptance, but that day may not be far off. “As we see more companies become more efficient at writing mobile computer code, we’ll see more retailers embrace mobility,” Schroer said.

Anyone want to buy a corded desktop phone?


  1. John, your piece is dead on. Amazing to see this grow as it gives consumers more interaction with their experience, yet independence at the check out. This type of retail experience will continue to grow. I have a family member up in MA that loves using the system at Stop & Shop. It's the only way that she'll shop - and have fun at the same time.

    I'll pass on the corded desktop phone...