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Tri Tang, a 25-year-old marketer, walked into a Best Buy Co. store in Sunnyvale, Calif., this past weekend and spotted the perfect gift for his girlfriend.
Last year, he might have just dropped the $184.85 Garmin global positioning system into his cart. This time, he took out his Android phone and typed the model number into an app that instantly compared the Best Buy price to those of other retailers. He found that he could get the same item on Amazon.com Inc.'s website for only $106.75, no shipping, no tax.
Mr. Tang bought the Garmin from Amazon right on the spot.
"As a result of consumers equipped with smartphone devices, holiday shoppers will use the technology now at their fingertips to get better deals, comparison shop and increase their overall satisfaction with the shopping experience.
Study data revealed that during this holiday season, 29 percent of all smartphone owners intend to use their device to look for a better price, 23 percent will be looking for product reviews, 22 percent will receive sale alerts and 20 percent will search for products at another store. Shoppers also plan to make use of additional features such as mobile barcode scanning technology (19 percent) and coupons received on their phones (19 percent).
The research also showed that shoppers intend to employ their smartphone cameras, with 34 percent planning to take pictures of products in store and 25 percent planning to send pictures to other people to solicit opinions."
The Dallas Morning News tagged along with a trio of shoppers testing out just how helpful their smartphones and various apps would be on ventures inside stores such as Macy's, J.C. Penney, Target, Best Buy, Sears, and yes, Williams-Sonoma and Apple.
I'm a firm believer that sustained lower prices generally equals better business effeciency.
The Best Buys of the world deliver products to their consumers more effeciently than higher priced Bob's computers and the Amazon's deliver products more effeciently than the Best Buys (hence their lower prices). It's business Darwinism.
The path of retailers in the past several decades has been contraction to a few mega retailers. The internet represents the height of this- now instead of a few mega chains in each city, there's a few mega chains in each continent.
It's the evolution to a perfectly effecient market.