With the ease and security of online shopping, you’d think everyone would be shopping at home this holiday season. Of course, that’s not the case. Thousands of bargain hunters will be lined up waiting for the retail stores to open. And these savvy shoppers will have new bargain-hunting weapons at their disposal: cellular devices. Everyone with a smartphone or tablet will have with them specifically designed apps to help them navigate everything from where an item is in a store, to seeing if it is the best price, to being able to buy it online—in the store. Here are just a few of the ways technology is influencing our habits this holiday season.
If you own a smartphone or a tablet, you’re in luck when it comes to simplifying your shopping experience this year. Specifically designed apps provide several services to the hectic shopper, from being able to locate items, to comparing a product’s price across the board. One app even allows you to take a picture of the product, and it will search the Internet to find you the best price and availability.
A big trend this holiday season is in the use of online merchants reaching customers with smartphones while they’re at the retail store, specifically timed to catch the shopper in line. For those shoppers waiting around for the doors to open in the wee hours of the morning, many online marketers will present a cunning ambush, offering mobile-only deals at 6am. Though this may be an unwanted and even annoying technology, it’s still an interesting difference in this year’s holiday trends.
Economical Technology Trends
This season we’ll be using technology in ways we hadn’t even dreamed of 5 years ago—shopping with a tablet in hand and phone strapped to our ear. And the good news is, with the economy’s outlook, the technology itself is in a billion-dollar battle to generate good quality products for the least amount. So the consumer wins in a way, if they have the means to purchase anything at all this holiday season.
For those of us intent on going to the brick-and-mortars this season, technology can be a great help, from finding great prices to gift ideas. Apps might help us while we’re in the store, and our mobile phones may ring signaling that we’re paying too much! But the trends that make our shopping easier may take a backseat to those that signal the sign of these times: only the technologies that offer the very best value will be the hot commodities as the economy continues to stumble along.