Will new technologies affect the way we shop this holiday season?

Though many people will be doing all their holiday shopping via the Internet, a lot more will be enduring the crowds to get those early bargains—and many of them will be carrying their cellular phones. Everyone with a smartphone or tablet will be able to use certain apps to make their holiday shopping a better experience. These apps vary wildly from offering great gift ideas to scanning in-store barcodes to compare prices. Here, then, are just a few of the many ways technology will influence how we shop this holiday season.

Mobile Apps

If you own a smartphone or a tablet, you’re in luck when it comes to simplifying your shopping experience this year. Specifically designed apps provide many services to the hectic shopper, from being able to quickly find items, to comparing a product’s price across the board. One app even allows you to take a picture of the item, and it will search the Internet to find you the best price and availability.

Smartphone Marketing

Another interesting trend this season is in the strategies taken by marketers to catch us even when we’re not tied to our computers. Smartphone marketing could be the next big step in reaching consumers, and this holiday season will basically be the beta test. Many marketing agencies have set out to contact shoppers while they’re waiting in long lines, and offering big deals and discounts in “mobile-only” purchases.

Economical Technology Trends

This season we’ll be using technology in ways we hadn’t even dreamed of 5 years ago—shopping with a tablet in hand and phone strapped to our ear. And the good news is, with the economy’s outlook, the technology itself is in a billion-dollar battle to generate top quality products for the least amount. So the consumer wins in a way, if they have the means to purchase anything at all this holiday season.

Of course not all of us will be camped out in front of our computers making our holiday purchases this year. Many will have their smartphones and tablets at the ready to do battle against shop and shopper alike. But as technology gives us greater freedom as consumers to purchase wisely, we must also acknowledge the way the tech itself is in that continuous battle for our hard earned cash. And, in this economy, the machines, gadgets and gizmos that offer the most value, will be the ones to beat.