24 Apr 2013
It's no secret that price comparison apps have completely changed the way the retail landscape works. 50% of respondents in a recent market analysis conducted by The Yankee Group said they would leave a store to buy from another retailer with a cheaper price. Initially, this may seem like a danger to retailers, but it really only impacts those who count on brand recognition to drive customer sales. Competitive pricing is absolutely essential in this day and age, and thanks to the widespread adoption of these price comparison apps, cost-conscious consumers can make smarter decisions about where to spend their money.
As part of the same US consumer survey mentioned above, a whopping 65% of consumers polled reported using the internet to research their products before shopping, and 42% consulted price-comparison information before making a purchase. This is further compounded by the fact that one of the most attractive demographics for retailers, those whose household income is over $200,000 USD per year, are even more likely to avoid visiting actual retail establishments in the first place in favour of conducting most of their shopping online.
The potential benefits from this smarter shopping trend don’t have to end with price comparison software, however. For those consumers who still want to visit a brick-and-mortar store, additional features such as personalized offers and inventory checks are excellent value-adds for any mobile shopping app. The downside to these potentials is that few retailers are likely to allow a price comparison site such as Amazon or ShopBot access to their private databases, meaning that each retailer will need to develop their own mobile shopping application, a trend which has yet to be embraced by most consumers.
In the end, empowering consumers is always advantageous for the retail market as a whole even if certain individual retailers may not benefit immediately, as increased consumer confidence in an era of financial instability is regarded as a sure sign that we are on the road to global financial recovery. For retailers to stay on track in the age of the smart shopper, they must be able to ensure they stay competitive in their pricing models, and even as consumers gain technological advantages, so do retailers, in the form of competitor price monitoring solutions.