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Shopping Trends During Holidays

TechnoparkToday.com> Of 4,000 U.S. and U.K. shoppers surveyed in 2012, 52 percent felt that stores set higher prices in the store than they did online, according to Accenture. Nearly three-quarters of consumers ages 20 to 40 reported using their smartphones to check prices, and most of these consumers left the store empty-handed. As stores compete for more of the holiday shopping budget, they are increasingly taking advantage of digital shopping trends. Read on for four to keep your eye on this holiday shopping season.

1. Mobile shopping

Retailers are increasingly paying attention to mobile shopping, and with good reason: a Columbia University Business School survey found that one-fifth of all shoppers actively price check with their mobile phones when shopping in a store, a practice referred to as “showrooming.” Shoppers can view the product in-store, then buy at the store with the lowest price. This real-time pricing information helps stretch that holiday budget.

2. Dedicated holiday shopping apps

Consumers can rely on their phones to take advantage of retailers deals and coupons. Apps such as the free RetailMeNot and Shopular allow you to browse for coupons from nearby retailers. This way, when you head to the mall to pick up stocking stuffers, you might end up scoring a special Cyber Monday coupon for a department store such as Macy’s that gives you a better deal. ShopSavvy allows you to see what your friends are purchasing and scan an item’s bar code to see which store is selling it for the lowest price.

3. Buy online, pick up in store

Stores are wooing shoppers to purchase online and pick up in-store. Consumers save on shipping costs this way, and often receive the item faster than they would if they had it shipped to their home. Stores hope that shoppers will make impulse buys when they visit the store to get the item. Wal-Mart began offering in store pick up in April 2012, and even allowed customers to order merchandise online, then pay cash upon pickup. Walmart’s Joel Anderson told the New York Times that more than half of the online orders from Walmart.com are picked up in local stores. This flexibility helps stores get items to customers faster than Amazon and helps customers score last-minute deals with less hassle.

4. Personalized recommendations for savvy shoppers

A 2012 Accenture survey found that nearly 50 percent of shoppers were open to being tracked by their favorite brands if they could receive real-time data on product availability and promotions. For stores, this opens up the possibility of leveraging customer data to increase sales figures and target their shoppers’ needs and wants. This can help shoppers complete holiday shopping faster, as retailers can better target niche needs. Accenture’s survey revealed that 88 percent of customers wanted to retain control over what information was shared with retailers, suggesting that the data-sharing model needs tweaks before it will realize widespread adoption.

Author Info: Erin Edwards – Erin is a mom of two who blogs about finding the best deals, family budgeting and frugal living at Macy’s. This article is exclusively written for TechnoparkToday.com

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