When the phone was invented, it changed the way the world communicated. Now, phones are changing the way the world shops, and it’s all because of the smart phone – which can access the Internet, letting you comparison shop just about anywhere. According to MSNBC, 18% of cell phones today are smart phones, and experts say that number will triple within the next two years. There are already hundreds of downloadable “apps” – mostly free – that search the Internet for discounts and coupons.
Every day, tech-savvy shoppers are downloading electronic coupons for groceries and merchandise, while literally standing in store. Retail consultants say the number of unique visitors to coupon and rewards Websites is rising 6% a month, and forcing stores like Macy’s and The Gap to pay to have their sales, deals and discounts listed. A lot of shoppers are also scanning barcodes with their cell phone cameras. Then logging onto price comparison websites, and using GPS to find discounts at nearby stores. Or they simply show the phone to the manager of the store they’re in, and ask them to match the discounted price.
Of course, consumers feel like they just won some kind of contest when they score an instant discount, but retailers are feeling the squeeze. They’re not happy that smart phones are forcing them to provide discounts to shoppers who were going to buy something anyway. However, most stores would rather offer the discount, than lose the sale. If you want to become a smart phone shopper, try the following links.