April 19, 2014

Smart phones promote savvy shoppers

Holiday shoppers this season are more informed consumers.

As the Christmas shopping rush gets under way, folks with smart phones just might have the upper hand. Madison College marketing and retail expert Betty Hurd says more than half of those who own mobile devices are using them to compare prices and make holiday purchases online. “Fifty three percent of people who own a tablet or a smartphone will either pre-shop or actually purchase on their mobile.”

Various software applications help to keep savvy consumers informed, including such apps as the Black Friday survival guide, a shop savvy app, discount calculator, and Hurd’s personal favorite: find my car app; it’s for those who need a little help after a hectic day in the crowds.

“Everybody can have access to a cell phone now or a smartphone now and there’s a ton of mobile apps that are out there that will help you find different deals at different retailers, what hours they’re open, when are the specials, etc.”

Plus, she says, friends and family are texting each other as they spot great deals. Hurd says coupons and deals intended for mobile users actually help drive traffic to the brick and mortar stores.

Consumer protection officials warn that some holiday shopping apps can contain malicious software. It’s important to download the software only from official app stores.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:19