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Consumers using their smartphones while shopping is now a fact of life for retailers. More than half of American smartphone owners use their phone to engage in retail-related activities while shopping in stores, according to comScore. The most popular retail-related activities for smartphone owners include taking a picture of a product, scanning a bar code, and contacting family or friends (presumably for advice).
Retailers, already challenged by online shopping, are now faced with a situation where they must vie with competitors for consumers who are already in their store. The upheaval also underlines how the tremendous growth in smartphone is accelerating the offline impact of the web—consumers no longer need to be chained to a computer to go online. Nonetheless, in the end retailers will have to adopt to accomodate consumers shifting shopping habits.
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