Though many people will be doing all their holiday shopping via the Internet, many more will be braving the crowds to get those early bargains—and many of them will be carrying their cellular phones. Everyone with a smartphone or tablet will be able to use certain apps to make their holiday shopping a better experience. These apps run the gamut from offering great gift ideas to scanning in-store barcodes to compare prices. Here, then, are just a few of the many ways technology will influence how we shop 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 many services to the hectic shopper, from being able to locate goods, 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
Not only will we be using technology to make our shopping lives less difficult, but we will also be on the lookout for the next big development. The trend in technology is seen in the battle of the tablets—at half the cost, the Kindle Fire is posing a threat to iPad’s dominance, and a new iPhone competitor appears to be entering the market every day. Rightly so: the consumer is wary of the economy, will most likely spend less this year, and will be looking for both bargains and value.
Of course not all of us will be camped out in front of our computers making our holiday purchases this year. Many will have their smartphones and tablets at the ready to do battle against shop and shopper alike. But as technology gives us greater freedom as consumers to purchase wisely, we must also acknowledge how the tech itself is in that continuous battle for our money. And, in this economy, the machines, gadgets and gizmos that offer the most value, will be the ones to beat.