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Survey: Consumers will be using apps to reduce trips to retailers

It's the most wonderful time of year for shopping app developers
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This holiday season may be the one where app developers get the gift of many new customers, according to a new survey released by PriceGrabber.

Holiday Season Shopping - Mobile

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Based on responses from close to 2,500 consumers, the PriceGrabber data shows that consumers see apps in part as a way to reduce the number of trips to retail stores. Forty-eight percent said they will make fewer trips this holiday season with the help of apps. Convenience, however, isn't what's primarily driving usage: 82 percent of those who already use mobile shopping apps will be counting on them for savings when they buy gifts over the next two months. Even more encouraging for developers working in this space, 32 percent of those who own smartphones said they will be downloading shopping apps.

The survey sample was almost evenly split between those who planned to use shopping apps to buy small-ticket items under $100, at 41 percent, and both big and small-ticket items at 42 percent. No matter what the price point, consumers are definitely looking for a deal, however. Despite the rise of collaborative discount services such as Groupon, apps that offered coupons ranked highest among the type of shopping apps consumers prefer, at 70 percent, while price-checking and comparison apps followed close behind at 63 and 66 percent, respectively. Price calculator apps scored relatively low at 32 percent.

Developers may be keen to cash in on the popularity of shopping apps in part because of the range of tools that are now available to help create them. These include MobiCart, MobileAppLoader and AppExpress, among others. Unlike some other app categories, shopping apps are being heavily promoted in the media. TheStreet.com, for example, listed ReturnGuru, Cardstar and TheFind among 10 must-have shopping apps.

Other niche categories of shopping apps highlighted in the PriceGrabber survey results included apps specifically aimed at searching for deals on Black Friday, which were of interest to 54 percent of respondents, and gift list apps, which 30 percent said they would download. Developers have the opportunity to capitalize on shopping needs that haven't been met yet. For example, whohas.it, which wasn't mentioned in the survey, is a tool created by Cignal Media that will deliver notifications when an out-of-stock item becomes available for pre-ordering again.

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