The conventional wisdom about retailers nowadays is that they’re getting wrecked by the Internet-borne virus that is online retail. And mobile phones are making matters much, much worse.

Mobile marketer InMarket, however, tells a different story. It says the rise mobile phones isn’t a death knell for retailers but rather could be their savior.

“We’re right at the turning of things swinging toward mobile in a pretty big way,” InMarket communications director Dave Heinzinger said.

But, he said, retailers are so afraid of showrooming for Amazon that they’re not embracing some of the biggest strengths of mobile devices: Creating personalized ads to consumers as they shop.

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“The mindset of people in-store is completely different from when they are sitting on the couch,” Heinzinger said.

According to InMarket data, shoppers spend an average of 90 seconds interacting with products in store. That’s three times as long as the average commercial. This, Heinzinger said, means there is untapped potential for retailers to meet shoppers head on with mobile apps and in-store contextual advertising.

It’s shopper 3.0, Heinzinger said.

Of course, InMarket has a big horse in this race. The company’s trio of shopping rewards apps — CheckPoints, List Bliss, and Extra Extra — allow brands to advertise their products via coupons and deals.

But Heinzinger’s conclusion remains relevant: Retailers are struggling to meet consumers head on. “We’re spending more time on our phones, but the brands aren’t following. This is something they have to fix” he said.


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