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Connected consumers forcing retailers to change

April 6, 2012

Merchants are afraid of this shopping revolution, which demands highly-informed service and price transparency, but they need to play to their strengths instead, according to Venture Beat.

The mobile shopping revolution that’s being driven by connected consumers is forcing retailers to change. A study by online media company Local Corporation found that 90 percent of customers still go to brick-and-mortar locations when they are shopping, but they bring their smartphones along. Additionally, 60 percent of respondents said they use their smartphones multiple times a month for product research.

Merchants are afraid of this shopping revolution, which demands highly-informed service and price transparency, but they need to play to their strengths instead, according to Venture Beat. Retailers may not always be able to beat online retailers’ prices, but they can offer more than that with their physical presence, PayPal mobile head Jason Spero told the source.

Spero says that retailers large and small will have to plan for price transparency to offer customers something they can’t get somewhere else, as reported by GigaOm. One retailer in Minnesota who has experience with retail showrooming – when customers visit physical stores to look at product, but purchase online – has started ordering handmade products from special dealers – things that consumers can’t get anywhere else and that don’t have a barcode, according to the Pioneer Press. Others are embracing the new mobile credit card processing technology to provide shoppers with an innovative retail experience. 

“We’re starting to see small businesses get access to technology and capabilities that are a whole generation ahead of bigger companies,” PayPal’s Hill Ferguson told the Venture Beat.

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