Limits, Opportunities, Trade-Offs, Trends

Driving can't be frictionless, but can shopping for gas?

Pull into a parking lot, open the right [mobile] app and you may be able to save a dollar or two on your next fill-up. Over the course of a year, you might even save enough money for a decent meal out.

That’s from an article by Bob Tedeschi in the New York Times on an emerging set of mobile apps that help you find cheaper gasoline. It won’t be long until they’re bundled with GPS maps and factory-options in cars.

These apps join RedLaser and host of related tools that bring low cost search from the online world to the rest of retailing. The result is not likely to be frictionless commerce, any more than it was for Internet merchants, but it certainly should reduce the importance of geography and customer ignorance as sources of competitive advantage.

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