Brick and Mortar Retailers Struggle With Smartphone Shopping

The growing prevalence of smartphones is changing the holiday shopping game this year. The old school of thought that getting the consumer in the door equals sales is gone, as shoppers increasingly stand in front of products and research them on their mobile devices. They are reading reviews, comparing prices at other stores, or scanning web merchants for a better deal and free shipping. AdAge reports that 40% of smartphone owners shop this way, and 14% have abandoned the in-store purchase and bought the item from their smartphones, while standing in store (comScore).

Some of the nation’s largest merchants are trying to beat the trend. Lowe’s and Best Buy are arming in-store employees with iPhones so that they can research products alongside the shoppers, according to AdAge. Many retailers are going one step further, empowering employees to undercut competitors’ prices on the spot.

Toys”R”Us and Best Buy are listing their in-store inventories with Milo, a service that is available to consumers for their smartphones, reports Reuters. This way, shoppers can use their mobile devices to find and purchase products, and then pick them up in the store.

Other outlets are debuting mobile friendly web stores. J.C. Penney’s offering has a wish list component that can be shared with friends.

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Category: Featured, Sales/Marketing, Weekend

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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