The retail landscape is continually changing in response to new technology, shifting consumer demand, and cost considerations. The British high street has weathered the storm of the past decade, with out-of-town shopping centres and online shopping presenting twin threats. While some big name stores have left us for good, others have evolved and thrived. The latest significant change in the retail market has been the sharp rise in mobile retail. Many eagle-eyed retail employees and employers will have spotted customer scanning barcodes with their phones, in order to check that they’re receiving the best price for the product. While this practice is clearly not likely to be beneficial for high street stores, there are some aspects of mobile retail that could benefit retailers.

Smartphone apps have been developed that allow shoppers to search for specific items and immediately learn whether they’re in stock at the stores nearest to them. These apps allows consumers to scout out bargains and reserve them before heading the store, benefit from in-store shopping experiences, and also take home products without having to wait for their delivery. While it’s unclear whether these apps will reach the critical mass required for them to have a significant, lasting impact on the retail sector, they are certainly worth looking out for.

Only time will tell whether mobile retail will be a burden or a boon for independent high street retailers. If you’d like to benefit from a technology that will grant you immediate gains, check out our retail software for merchants.