Dec 29, 2010

Shopping by Phone

Best Buy now targets personalized advertisements to shoppers when a program detects that they are in other stores, such as Wal-Mart.

If shoppers use TheFind's free app to compare prices on TVs at Wal-Mart, for example, the phone gets data from recent searches and shows them ads of similar electronics for sale at Best Buy. The items may not be identical or cheaper, but Best Buy gets in the competition. Best Buy, famous for their restocking fees and high pressure 'extended warranties',  recently settled a lawsuit from the Connecticut attorney general alleging that it showed web prices on in-store kiosks that were higher than customers saw on their home computers. It also recently dumped its restocking fees for many items.

The offers are only sent to customers who opt to allow the program to use their phone's global positioning system to track their location.

The ads are similar to the special offers based on what we are searching for while on home computers. There are many apps to help compare prices, including one from Amazon. Obviously, apps that use your location against you are never a good idea, and maybe Best Buy isn't.