By Ryan Kim, GigaOM Smartphone shopping apps are helping consumers buy more online, and they’re getting people better deals on the street. Two new data points from online auctioneer eBay and price comparison app Scanbuy help drive that home, and more importantly, suggest where things are ultimately headed: Deal-hungry users are increasingly going to put pressure on retailers, both online and offline, to change prices in real time to satisfy these more savvy buyers. First, here’s the news:
- EBay said Wednesday that global mobile sales brought in almost $2 billion in 2010, up from $600 million in 2009. In the U.S., eBay mobile sales grew almost 175 percent, generating nearly $850 million in gross merchandise value in 2010.
- Meanwhile, Scanbuy said mobile barcode scanning activity was up 16x in 2010 over 2009, with scanning in the fourth quarter doubling that of the previous quarter. The big scan days were the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
This is good news for consumers, who can leverage this data more for in-store discounts and bargaining. Flash an online price of a product at a Best Buy employee, and see if the price can be matched or beaten. It’s going to put more pressure on retailers to monitor these pricing schemes and devise quick strategies. It’s not enough to just offer check-in coupons and offers; they’re going to have to be aware of the competing offers available to consumers as they hunt for bargains. One option for physical retailers is to make the in-store buying process easier, possibly through emerging applications like AisleBuyer, a service I recently wrote about that lets users do mobile self-check-outs. The war is on for those shopping dollars, and retailers need to have some kind of real-time battle plan.Related content on GigaOM Pro (subscription required):
- Shopping Matters When it Comes to Location-Based Apps
- Why the Mobile Web (Not Just Apps) Is Critical for Retailers
- Needed: a Neiman Marcus for Mobile Apps