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Study: Mobile technology offers in-store opportunity


NEW YORK — While advances in smartphones and social media use have lead many consumers to shop online, those same technologies are being utilized by retailers to get customers back into the stores. New shopping apps, mobile technologies and social media rewards are moving buying decisions back into the stores, according to WSL/Strategic Retail's second annual "Buzz to Buy 2.0" trend report.

According to the report, approximately half of all smartphone owners use their devicse while shopping in-store. More than half of those who use mobile for shopping are comparing prices (56%), taking pictures of products (53%), and finding coupons and discounts (46%).

Shopping apps are growing in popularity, and according to WSL/Strategic Retail, 35% of those surveyed are using them to receive in-store alerts to deals and sales (35%), reading QR codes or bar codes for product information (33%) and helping to navigate the store (28%).

"For the first time in many years, retailers are getting ahead of the trend — and the shopper, by introducing new mobile apps that create fun, entertaining and promotion-driven experiences at the malls and in the stores," WSL/Strategic Retail CEO Wendy Liebmann said. "By using mobile technology to access flash offers, search best deals and earn rewards, shoppers are, once again, able to make purchase decisions in-store, rather than online at home."

WSL/Strategic Retail conducted an Internet survey from Sept. 8 to 12. The survey included 1,702 respondents recruited from an online panel of shoppers who were at least 15 years old. All participants are active Internet users — they have done at least one online shopping or social networking activity within the past month.

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