Mobile phones are the must have accessory for saving money this holiday shopping season

Mobile phones are the must have accessory for saving money this holiday shopping season
Matthew Tractenberg was in a Silicon Valley bookstore about to pay $80 for 5 books. Before taking them to the counter to pay, he typed the titles into the Amazon app on his BlackBerry Curve. He found out that he could get the same books from the online retailer for $50 with no sales tax or shipping. He ordered the titles through Amazon and left his books in a pile at the store. In Cypress, Texas, mother Heather Reed was looking for a Hot Wheels video game for her son. She was thinking about laying out $29.99 for the game at Walmart. Using an app called ShopSaavy on her Samsung Moment, she found the same game across the freeway at Target for $19.99. MyCoupons.com provided her with a $10 off Target coupon and the $29.99 game became a $9.99 purchase in 5 minutes without searching the Internet.

According to accounting firm Deloitte, 1 in 5 shoppers will use their cellphone to shop this holiday season. Of those, 45% willuise their phone to research prices, 32% will use it to read reviews or get coupons, and 25% will make purchases from their device. Stacy Janiak, a U.S. retail practice leader at Deloitte says, "We are on the cusp of this technology really driving a lot of activity during the shopping season. She continues to say that for retailers, it is a challenge and an opportunity as shoppers compare prices with other brick-and-mortar stores right from their aisles.

Besides ShopSaavy, other mobile apps like RedLaser, TheFind, ShopStyle and PriceGrabber allow users to compare prices across a wide range of retailers. RetrevoQ is a service that is part of electronics review site Retrevo. Users can send a text or Tweet with the name of the product that they are interested in and receive an immediate reply with recommendations and a list of online prices. To make up for the smaller real estate on a cellphone, retailers are building easier to navigate mobile web sites that allow for quicker browsing of products and faster checkouts. More and more shoppers are getting comfortable with the idea of shopping using a cellphone. Mobile shoppers will spend $500 million on eBay this year says the online auction site. And the technology gets better. New apps like Yowza use the GPS on the handset to send shoppers coupons for stores within walking distance of the shoppers location. Who knows what changes will make shopping easier for mobile phone users in the next few years.

source: NYTimes



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