14 Apr 2011
Just as the internet blew apart the traditional salesperson/customer route to market for many resellers, the rise of the smartphone and the mobile app marketplace is forcing all industry sectors to pay attention.
iPads, iPhones and tablets are bringing with them a new level of pricing transparency, availability and convenience which is raising the expectations of customers.
Customers want to do business their way, on the move and outside of office hours. They also want to be sure they are getting the best prices available before they commit to buying.
Google's recent introduction of their Shopper app is a great example of where this is all heading - enabling you to snap a barcode with a camera phone, the app then identifies and prices it in real time from online vendors.
This new era of immediacy and transparency is set to give the industry a firm shove in the back to reshape its future sales model.
Resellers need to be asking themselves whether they are prepared for these changes. If not, they'll lose out.
For example, if someone is using Google Shopper, does your business feature as one of the results? Is your website mobile optimised? Is your store on Google maps? Are you using social media channels effectively? If these are new questions for you, you're already falling behind.
Phil Jones (pictured) is sales and marketing director at Brother UK