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Holiday shoppers utilizing mobile apps this season, PriceGrabber finds

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — Among those that have shopping-related applications on their smartphone, most of them will use this method to help save money when purchasing gifts this holiday season, according to a PriceGrabber survey.

The survey, which polled responses from 3,574 U.S. consumers from Oct. 18 to Oct. 26, found that 39% of consumers that have shopping-related apps on a smartphone. Among them, 84% said they would utilize the apps to help save money on gift items. What’s more, 42% said they planned on downloading new shopping apps on their phones for holiday shopping purposes. The most popular planned downloads included comparison-shopping apps, followed by coupon apps and price check apps with barcode scanning capabilities. When asked to select all of the reasons why they will use these apps to assist with holiday shopping:

  • 56% said that they find the best prices using mobile shopping apps;

  • 50% said the convenience of receiving discounts and price notifications directly on a mobile phone;

  • 44% said that they only have time to shop on the go;

  • 38% used the apps to enhance the experience of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores; and

  • 28% said they enjoyed the apps’ localization features.

When asked to select all of the places where they plan to use these apps, 79% said on the go, 74% said they will use the apps from home and 32% will use the apps at work. What’s more, 63% of consumers said they plan to purchase both big- and small-ticket items with a mobile shopping app and 20% said they would purchase all items via apps this season.

"Following the higher-than-expected success of Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, we aren’t surprised to see a meaningful percentage of consumers planning to spur retailers with another round of shopping closer to Christmas," PriceGrabber general manager Graham Jones said. "We expect that shoppers will stay on top of last-minute incentives and price drops that are certainly on the horizon in the coming weeks via the internet and mobile shopping applications like PriceGrabber, which has already experienced over 1.5 million downloads across the iPhone, Android, and iPad."

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CVS/pharmacy debuts mobile shopping platform for smartphone users

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Looking to stay on the cutting edge of mobile commerce, CVS/pharmacy has made the entire CVS.com catalog available to shoppers through its mobile site (m.cvs.com), so CVS/pharmacy customers easily can browse, order and buy products anywhere, anytime from their smartphones.

In addition, the CVS Photo mobile site features fully-optimized print ordering and purchasing with easy checkout.

"Our new mobile shopping site offers digitally-minded CVS/pharmacy shoppers with a superior on-the-go retail shopping experience," CVS/pharmacy SVP and chief marketing officer Rob Price said. "The launch of mobile shopping is another exciting step in our ongoing effort to expand our digital suite in order to better serve all of our customers — whether they are refilling prescriptions via camera phone or shopping for holiday gifts from their smartphone."

The news comes on the heels of new research data from eMarketer, which estimated that mobile commerce sales will reach $6.7 billion this year in the United States — a small fraction of overall retail sales, no doubt, but a whopping 91.4% increase over 2010. Next year, sales will rise another hefty 73.1% to $11.6 billion. EMarketer publishes data, analysis and insights on digital marketing, media and commerce.

Visitors to the CVS/pharmacy mobile site now can:

  • Access the CVS.com catalog of more than 25,000 products;

  • Redeem coupons and offers;

  • Purchase and ship products;

  • Browse product categories and search for specific items;

  • Update credit card and account information for shipping and billing; and

  • Log-in to their CVS Photo account to order and purchase prints for in-store pickup.

These mobile enhancements complement previous upgrades that allow shoppers to spot nearby CVS/pharmacy stores by using their phone’s GPS, check the weekly circular and find MinuteClinic locations and services. CVS/pharmacy shoppers also can manage their ExtraCare Rewards accounts and scan and send prescription refills, via their smartphone.

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Designer Greetings’ new website underscores product offerings

BY Allison Cerra

EDISON, N.J. — Designer Greetings has unveiled its new redesigned website.

The greeting card publisher said the new site highlights its extensive greeting card line — which touts more than 21,000 designs — as well as boxed Christmas cards, boxed and packaged invitations and thank you notes, and a gift wrap line. Retailers have the opportunity to browse through the company’s history, achievements and customer testimonials en route to sampling its greeting cards, Designer Greetings said.

In line with the website overhaul, Designer Greetings said the site also features the company’s new corporate logo.

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