Beware Of Mobile Customers Who Are Not Where You Think They Are

As retailers continue to experiment with mobile commerce, one potential problem is when mobile customers prove to be truly mobile. Let's say a national chain sends an E-mail blast to the cellphones of 10,000 Boston-area customers, inviting them to visit the store for a free sample on Wednesday. The chain limits the offer to the Boston area through area code and other data.

But it just so happens that there's a huge convention in San Jose that day of the Society Of People Who Live In Boston. Your San Jose locations get flooded with people asking for their free gift, leading to a lot of baffled employees and angry customers. This observation comes courtesy of a colleague who has far too much time on his hands to think up such things.