“When it comes to holiday shopping, more people are phoning it in, forcing retailers to embrace new ways to connect or else lose sales,” Alistair Barr reports for Reuters. “Lowe’s Companies, Best Buy and Toys R Us are among retailers making big changes to prepare for a wave of holiday shoppers who will use smart phones to research products, check rivals’ prices and make purchases.”
“Lowe’s is issuing more than 42,000 Apple iPhones to employees in more than 1,700 stores,” Barr reports. “When shoppers are in Lowes stores scanning bar codes with their phones, reading product reviews and checking prices, employees can engage them better using iPhones to track down similar information. Staff can also check quickly if products are in stock or if items are available on Lowes’ website or another store nearby, and can often match or beat a price a consumer finds elsewhere via a smart phone.”
Barr reports, “More than 40 percent of retailers this year have a policy of at least competing with lower online prices found through mobile comparisons. Ahead of last year’s holiday season, most retailers were still in denial about this trend, according to research firm RSR.”
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