Enhancing the in-store shopping experience using the smartphone


What if we could build an app that can instantly tell you if a product is worth your time and money?

In May of 2013, I started exploring an idea in which smartphones could interact with consumer products within a retail store. I was curious to see if a smartphone could enhance the in-store shopping experience by providing specialized content such as detailed descriptions, reviews, and prices for a particular product. I wanted to make the experience as intuitive as possible, which lead to us utilizing NFC and QR codes.

To test this idea, I collaborated with Daniel Huckaby to develop an Android application that we would go on to beta test across 16 Electronic Express retail stores. Our beta application utilized custom NFC stickers with QR codes printed on top, which we placed near high-value items such as laptop computers, televisions, and video games. Our assumption was that people are more likely to do research on high-value items before making a purchase. If we could enable people to easily access this additional information, they would be more likely to convert, leading to an increase in in-store sales.

Over the span of our 4-week beta, Tapview was downloaded over 200 times with positive feedback from users and employees. At the conclusion of our beta, Daniel and I decided to pause the development of Tapview due to prior obligations to work and school.

So What Now?

A lot has changed over the last 5 years. While online shopping is as dominant as it’s ever been, over 60% of shoppers prefer to make purchases inside the store when it comes to products like appliances, electronics, and apparel.


(*More work coming soon! I revisited this project to see how an experience like Tapview could be done today using the things I’ve learned over the past 5 years.)


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