ue 14(3): e1

Research Article

An Un-tethered Mobile Shopping Experience

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/ue.1.3.e1,
        author={Venkatraman Ramakrishna and Saurabh Srivastava and Jerome White},
        title={An Un-tethered Mobile Shopping Experience},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Ubiquitous Environments},
        keywords={Mobile Shopping, Mobile Payment. Emerging Market, User Study.},
  • Venkatraman Ramakrishna
    Saurabh Srivastava
    Jerome White
    Year: 2014
    An Un-tethered Mobile Shopping Experience
    DOI: 10.4108/ue.1.3.e1
Venkatraman Ramakrishna1,*, Saurabh Srivastava1, Jerome White2
  • 1: IBM India Research Laboratory, New Delhi – 110070, India
  • 2: IBM India Research Laboratory, Bangalore – 560045, India
*Contact email: vramakr2@in.ibm.com


Smart phones with access to apps from online tores are ideal candidates to replace expensive hardware like Point-of-Sale terminals for retail. A standard set of shopper and retailer apps can replace the conventional retailer IT setup in settings ranging from rural areas with low connectivity to dense urban areas. We describe how we built such a set of apps for mobile shoppers and retailers equipped only with smart phones and tablets, and who require little to no training to use them. These apps are flexible enough to be used by small shops with small inventories as well as large grocery chains. Our apps enable retailers to manage their inventories and finances, and shoppers to discover retailers, match shopping lists, and make purchases. We describe how we conducted a user study of retailers in North India to ascertain their needs, and to understand the ecosystem in emerging markets. This helped us build a mobile shopping platform that can support a range of transactional scenarios.