Thursday, November 25, 2010

Smartphones Can Help with Black Friday Shopping

shopping appSmartphones have turned into devices that can help individuals with almost every aspect of their lives, and a new survey shows that they will even have an effect on the way that users do their holiday shopping this year.

According to the newest study from market researcher IDC, mobile devices are going to have a very large impact on the holiday shopping habits of American consumers. The survey was conducted with more than 1,000 consumers in September. It showed that customers who use a mobile device for shopping assistance will have a “greater advantage as they engage retailers.”

More than one-third of individuals who were surveyed said that they planned to improve the efficiency and ease of their shopping experience by utilizing their smartphones. They will be able to use their mobile device to search different stores' “price and product information” and also to search for “merchandise availability.” This will help to cut down a lot on stress and wasted time. Of those surveyed that said they plan on using the smartphone, 45 percent said that they would use their mobile device to compare the pricing of certain products to other stores' prices in the area, and 32 percent said that they will be using their phones to browse reviews of certain products that they are interested in.

It has been predicted that the holiday shopping season this year will generate somewhere around $447 billion in revenues. Of the $447 billion, IDC predicts that $127 billion in revenue will be spent by shoppers utilizing their mobile phones to enhance their shopping experience. One thing that is important to note is that these figures do not mean that shoppers are spending cash and purchasing items through their smartphone. IDC says that it simply means that these shoppers will be using their smartphones to help them to ease the stress of holiday shopping and to assist them with their buying decisions.

Now as amazing as these developments may sound to a consumer, it is not necessarily the best news for all retailers. IDC has said that “these new behaviors will exert pressures that weaken the store's immediate influence on purchase decisions at the shelf.” This is a very true thought that I’m sure has many retailers nervous. IDC continued discussing the topic saying that only those retailers that have “superior mobile and social media commerce strategies in place will have a decided advantage."

IDC’s study followed the study conducted by Yahoo that claimed that two-thirds of individuals with a mobile phone will be utilizing it this year while they are doing their holiday shopping. The Yahoo survey also discovered that the average American consumer will be spending close to $900 during the holiday shopping season this year.

These numbers that have been released by IDC and Yahoo are incredible. Mobile devices are increasingly becoming a very essential tool in many individuals' lives. Although it may not be the ideal thing for retailers, utilizing your smartphone to check pricing, availability, and quality of products is smart. It will help shoppers to find the best deals and best products available this holiday season. I know that I will definitely be utilizing these mobile benefits while I’m out doing my shopping. If you’re looking to ease some of the shopping stress of the holiday season, maybe you don’t need to look any further than your smartphone.

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