This holiday season, it’s likely that your shopping experiences will be different than ever before, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets.
The number of mobile shoppers is increasing, as is the amount of shopping these shoppers do via mobile. Not surprisingly, Amazon has typically been the top destination for mobile shopping, while eBay just reported that December 9th was its single biggest mobile shopping day ever and PayPal mobile payments grew 221%. In addition to shopping at these m-commerce powerhouses, you can visit your favorite retailers’ mobile sites and apps (if they have them) to purchase directly, and either have your items delivered to you or pick them up at the closest physical store.
If you’re one of those shoppers who actually leaves the house to buy gifts, your experience has been totally transformed as well. Before you even step foot outside your home, you may receive a text message or push notification from your favorite retailer notifying you of their special holiday deals. Once you visit that retailer, you may find that some items are out of stock. But fear not, as the sales representative has an iPad to check inventory of that item at other stores, or simply order it online to be delivered to your doorstep.
If you’re unsure whether that retailer has the best price on a certain item, you can take out your smartphone and scan the UPC code to compare prices against other local stores or competing online retailers so you can save some bucks. Some retailers may display QR codes that you can scan to find out more information about that product without speaking with a sales rep.
For those gifts that you decide to purchase in-store, you can pay on a Square Register instead of a normal cash register. Or maybe you’ll use the Square Wallet app or Google Wallet to make a payment directly from your smartphone.
These emerging technologies make it easier than ever for customers to gather product information and execute transactions, and give buyers more power than ever before. Retailers need to keep up with these trends by building mobile websites and apps that sync in real time with their back-end systems and incorporating ways for customers to gather info and execute transactions anywhere in the store. It’s clear that mobile shopping is here to stay and retailers need to adapt or risk getting left behind.
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