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Mobile Business: Have All Shoppers Gone High-Tech?

No, likely not all of them, but a recent study has shown that shoppers are now regularly checking prices online before purchasing in-store. Aware that shoppers had been checking pricing on larger items online, such as appliances, furniture, or home improvement items for quite some time, it seems this has finally carried over to everyday items such as grocery prices or even deals at local restaurants before enjoying a night out.

Shoppers Interact with Retailers Via Social Networking Sites

Many shoppers and retailers report an increase in social interactions via Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites, that can lead to purchases later off-line. It seems shoppers have begun to utilize these methods far more often. It is actually quite a smart idea and seems to have swayed once again, more of the power over to the shoppers.

Consumers are actually doing a great job negotiating pricing on anything from shampoo to a new washer-dryer combo. They are achieving the incredible when it comes to getting the best they can for the money available to spend. So how are they doing this?

  • By visiting the social media sites for major or even smaller retailers to browse for specials.
  • By interacting with retailers or their representatives via social networks and suggesting lower prices, providing proof of lower prices elsewhere, or simply just negotiating a special deal for themselves.
  • By suggesting helpful tips to retailers from consumers point of views.

 This interaction has definitely proven beneficial to many shoppers and encouraged them to continue to negotiate purchases from the largest to the most insignificant.

How Did This Get Started?

It is truly a mystery exactly what caused this to become a more common occurrence but a few have made some great suggestions as to why.

  • Gas prices. Gas prices have gone haywire. While many consumers consider the cost in fuel that may occur when they have to price compare via physical footwork, they have taken to the internet to save on gas funds.
  • In-Store pricing deals. Many consumers utilize pricing deals in-store such as Wal-Mart’s price guarantee that says if a consumer can bring in another stores flyer, or a coupon targeted to a specific retailer, they will meet or beat that price. Some consumers rightly assume that if price guarantees are the name of the game, the game applies everywhere. Seeking out better deals from other stores, to get better deals at their favorites has become far more common. 
  • Many may have simply headed to a retailers social media site in effort to stage the time-honored effort of saving time itself by pre-shopping for the best deals.

Interesting Shopper Statistics

There have definitely been some serious changes in the way consumers manage their shopping needs in the last few years.

  • There has been a 25% increase in price based shopping.
  • 62% of consumers report researching pricing online for the most basic items before they head to the store.
  • 80% of women admit to paying more attention to the prices on most things they buy.
  • 39% of shoppers research the prices of baby products before purchase.
  • 20% of shoppers report researching food and drink prices.
  • 33% of shoppers research their pet products prices before shopping in-store.

Online Shopping Statistics for 2011

  • 38% of consumers report purchasing online, up 5% from 2010.
  • 60% report carrying out more in-depth searches online before purchasing in-store, up from 52% in 2010.
  • 17% share that companies that provide social media interaction, or mobile applications for their stores do make price comparison shopping easier for them.

With sites like PriceGrabber, where consumers can set up alerts on pricing, even setting configurations to email or text message them when a price reaches a preset threshold, consumers are unlikely to forget that the entire retail world can be at their disposal when it comes to searching for, and finding the best deals available in the off-line shopping world.

Sources: 

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