The customer service of online shopping. The convenience of a physical store. It might not seem like a winning combination, but the number of people turning away from sales representatives and towards digital apps is rising-- even in brick and mortar stores.
A recent study conducted by financial analytics firm Deloitte has found a massive jump in in-store sales conducted with or aided by mobile and digital technologies. From 2012 to 2013 mobile devices jumped from playing a key role in 5 percent of sales to 19 percent. The use of digital devices in these transactions leaped from 14 percent to 36 percent.
When people go into stores today with a smartphone, they can look up products, reviews, prices and competitors. In the past, you had to make do with a sales representative, and with that the dealer's agenda- to push a product. Half the time I go into a store I do all my research on the spot, whipping out my iPhone to aid my shopping trip.
Target is following up its Black Friday deals week with Cyber Monday Deals Week. All week long, Target will be featuring some killer deals in its Cyber Week section, and we're already seeing some nice discounts, particularly on video games and consumer electronics. Here's a sampling:
- Westinghouse 46" 1080p LCD HDTV - $379.99
- Save 25% on all Dyson vacuums
- Acer Aspire One - $199.99
- Nikon COOLPIX S3300 - $79.99
- Buy one, get one 50% off on select video games
Read More | Target Cyber Monday & Cyber Week sales
- 15.3% of online sales were mobile.
- iPad made up 9.8% of purchases made.
- iPhone made up 8.7% of purchases made.
- Android devices made up 5.5% purchases made.
- 20.7% increase of online shopping.
- 11:45 EST was the peaked shopping time.
- $181.22 was the average order value spent.
- Department stores grew 16.8% over Black Friday 2011
- 58% of consumers used smartphones to shop for deals.
- 41% of consumers used tablets to shop for deals.
Full breakdown after the jump.
Read More | IBM
We've covered Decide before--it's the shopping search engine that's focused on telling you when you should buy certain products, based on when they'll be cheapest. For example, if you are looking to buy a Panasonic Lumix ZS20 camera, Decide would tell you if now is a good time, or if you should wait a week or two, when the price is expected to drop. They even stand behind their predictions with a money-back guarantee.
One complaint that we had about the service was that, sure, it was easy to recommend products based on pricing trends, but that didn't mean that the product was a good one. Maybe someone has received a significant price drop simply because no one wanted it because it didn't perform as expected. It wouldn't be the first time. Today Decide is aiming to plug that hole with its new product recommendations service.
Read More | Decide
If you thought that the placement of anything in an Apple Store by employees wasn't planned with the utmost precision, think again. It turns out that everything, even down to the exact tilt of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air displays, have an intricate science around them. Get this--each morning Apple Store employees use a leveling app like Simply Angle to help set the tilt of the displays of all the notebook computers to exactly 70 degrees.
Read More | Forbes
We're always on the hunt for a good deal, which is why we're fans of Decide. The site finds the best deals on electronics and appliances, and through its algorithm, predicts when you should buy things based on price trends. Recently, Decide launched its "Got Your Back" feature, which suggests 10 products at bargain basement prices. If you buy one and the price drops within the next two weeks, Decide will pay you the difference, for free.
Today the company continues its roll with the release of the Decide iPad app. It's basically everything you already love about Decide (and if you don't use them, you should,) optimized for the iPad. Yes, that includes high-resolution Retina display graphics as well. It's a beautiful app, and it's available now on the App Store for free.
I spent some time at the Decide offices earlier this week--great people over there, and we look forward to what the future holds for the company.
Decide is one of the sites we recommend people visit when they're unsure about a gadget purchase (and they also gave one of you an iPhone 4S at launch.) They've helped many people determine whether they should pick up a certain digital camera or smartphone, or if they should wait a few weeks due to an impending new model set to hit the scene (or a price drop that's right around the corner.) Today, the company launches a new product that aims to give you a bit of confidence in that you are getting the best price out there, period.
Amazon is following up its Black Friday deals week with Cyber Monday Deals Week. All week long Amazon will be featuring soem killer deals in its Cyber Monday section, and we're already seeing some nice discounts, particularly on video games and consumer electronics. Be sure to check it out if you've stull got some shopping to do!
Read More | Amazon Cyber Monday sales
With the sheer number of sales and offers being flung around during Black Friday weekend, there's a chance that you may encounter an item you're interested in that doesn't appear in any ad. Although you can easily price compare offers from competing stores, how can you be certain that it's actually the best deal you can get? Below, we've detailed a few steps that you should take to ensure that your purchase is a wise one. And though you may feel pressure to move quickly on Black Friday — with extremely limited-time offers and deals selling out — a few moments spent researching will make you much less likely to regret your purchases later.
1. Know the Price History for the Item: Many people don't realize that there's an option on dealnews that allows you to view expired deals. This info is useful when assessing the dealworthiness of a current price for a specific item. If the model you're considering was offered for less a few weeks or months ago, it's probably a pretty weak Black Friday deal. We've noticed a few such offerings in the ads already, so be on the lookout.
2. Consider Other Colors: If you're not particular about the color of your item, it's worth doing a quick check to see if a less-mainstream colorway is seeing stronger discounts. For example, some of the deepest cuts on items like Vibram FiveFingers shoes tend to be brightly-colored styles. When searching for additional options, keep in mind that sometimes the model number integrates color information. (Cameras and camcorders frequently do this.) Simplify the model number to broaden your search, and you may find a blue camera for less than the standard black or silver model you were originally considering.
Apple on Thursday updated its retail iOS app (now Apple Store 2.0) and as rumored last week, it includes an expansion of Apple's in-store pickup program and EasyPay, a self-checkout option for some items.
Now, when you order certain items using the app, it will give you the choice of either picking it up in a nearby store or having it shipped to you. It will also let you know whether or not the item is in stock in stores in your area. Apple has said most store-stocked items can be ready for pickup in about an hour.
Apple debuted the ship to store option a few weeks ago, starting in San Francisco and then adding Apple Stores in New York City. Since the launch of the app, the service has been added to stores in an array of cities and it will launch for additional U.S. stores as the holidays approach.