Moms Get App Happy This Holiday Season To Save Time And Money

by , Dec 2, 2011, 8:07 AM
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Moms shop. They are responsible for about $2.1 trillion in spending on an annual basis and an estimated $466 billion will be spent this holiday season alone in the U.S. As competition increases; retailers are beginning to recognize that today’s mom expects more including simplicity, selection, trust and savings (on precious time and money).

So as the holidays kick into full gear and the number of moms armed with smartphones increases, the question becomes, “Which apps will mom be using this year?”

Prior to Black Friday, Bradsdeals was predicting that about 15% of total Black Friday searches would be on mobile phones. And for those who wait till the last minute, 44% of us will be using our phones to search for last minute deals. So we conducted a quick holiday survey with 200 moms from our Mom-entum community asking how they will shop this year. Here’s what we found:

  • Most of the moms started their holiday shopping around Halloween and will continue till they reach the finish line at the end of December–it’s not just about Black Friday/Cyber Monday. And evidenced by many of the store promotions, it’s going to be an all out war til Dec. 25.

  • Top of the list for moms was to use phones for taking pictures of potential purchases. Why? Most popular reason offered was as a reminder if they weren’t ready to purchase on the spot, followed by sharing photos of possible purchases with friends to solicit their opinion and, lastly, for store comparisons.

  • Curious about whether moms find shopping apps helpful, we asked for specifics about the apps she had on her phone. Not surprising, retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target were at the top. Not only do these apps put everything at mom’s fingertips, but combined with 24/7 shopping hours as offered by stores like Amazon, you have a killer proposition. As extra incentives this year, Walmart released Black Friday specials prior to Friday, and Target opened at midnight.

After retailer apps, the Black Friday app was also high on mom’s list. It’s been pinging me with alerts every time a new deal goes live, and convenience is high on every mom’s wish list this year.

I spoke with Suzanne Kantra, founder and editor of Techlicious, a site that focuses singularly on tech for women, who had these additional suggestions:

  • Perfect for the mom who wants to shop offline with confidence that they’re getting the best price is the ShopSavvy app (free in Android Market). By simply inputting a product name or scanning the barcode, the app will pull up pricing online (including Amazon) and at local retailers.
  • With all of the hype around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s easy to second-guess when the right time is to buy a product. ShopStyle and the Decide.com app (both free in iTunes) show price history, predict whether the price is rising or falling and let mom set price alerts.
  • If moms are looking to find the latest deals and clip coupons—online or offline—Dealnews (free in iTunes  and Android Market) lets her search by product category, retailer and product name.
  • And for those moms who want a quick way to search the Sunday circulars, the GeoQcops (free in iTunes) shows the scanned pages along with text describing the deals.

In addition, moms who like to gamify their shopping should take a look at the WeReward app. This free app rewards you with points when you check-in to locations and perform certain tasks in the real world. Every 1,000 points ($10) can be turned into cash through PayPal.

So not just any retailer can jump into this game and get moms on board. Moms need to feel 1) the app has better selection than ever could be found in person, 2) that the check-out and delivery process is flawless, and 3) the app comes from a brand name (Walmart, Amazon) that they can trust. She also wants flexible and convenient hours and the ability to buy online/pick up at store. Today’s mom just expects more.

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