Mobile Devices: The New Way to Shop

A growing trend among consumers is for them to use their mobile devices to assist them with shopping and in some cases to use their devices to purchase items remotely. Consumers are using their smartphones to search for store locations, compare prices, find deals, and make orders. Smartphones are also used as shopping lists and to look up recipes for grocery shopping. Customers can use various apps with their mobile devices in participating stores to quickly locate products in their current aisle and even map out the best route to get them in and out of the store as quickly as possible.

IBM Research is in development of a mobile app that will assist in customer shopping. The app uses augmented reality and works as a personal shopping aid for the consumer. The app will be bought by retailers and distributed to their customers. When the customer downloads the app they will have the ability to create a profile that includes such information as foods that they are allergic to. While shopping, the user can input information about a particular kind of product they want to buy, such as low-fat and low-sugar foods. This information can be used to avoid foods that the user does not want, as well as open the user to food that they might like but did not know about. The app can also be used to find customer reviews as well as foods that are on sale and have same-day coupons and discounts. The app works by pointing the camera of a mobile device at the desired type of food. The app will then overlay information such as price and ingredients on screen over the brands that meet the consumer 's requirements.

Tablets are also gaining popularity in mobile shopping. Consumers use their tablets for holiday as well as year round shopping and appreciate the convenience of being able to shop at their leisure, without having to go to the store. Clothes, toys, and jewelry are some popular items for them to buy with their tablets. Mobile devices are becoming more popular to purchase items with than personal computers. The majority of mobile shopping is done in the consumer 's home where personal computers are readily available. Mobile devices are easily carried around the house and can be more convenient to use than personal computers.

Not only are consumers shopping with their mobile devices, but they are also using them to help with their decision making. They are using their devices for research, such as searching for store locations and comparing product prices and details. There are a number of shoppers who allow ads in their mobile devices to influence their shopping. It was found that many shoppers prefer free mobile apps that have ads than paid apps without ads. Customers who are pleased with their mobile experience are more likely to buy products from the retailer, either from their mobile device or at a store location.

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