Consumers are now in control.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 61 percent of American adults own smart phones. Ownership is particularly high among 20 and 30 year olds (although a majority of Americans 44 to 54 years old have smartphones) as well as in households with relatively high levels of income and educational attainment (Smith, 2013). Each year the number of adults using social media continues to grow. In 2013, 72 percent of U.S. adults use social networking sites; compared to 68 percent the year before (Brenner, 2013).
As a result of this rapidly rising smart phone adoption, consumer shopping behavior is increasingly influenced by mobile and social technology readily available on these devices. Applications such as Google Shopper and the Amazon mobile app make “show rooming” a reality, and ready access to consumer-produced reviews in apps like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google Maps influence purchase choices in real time at the point of decision. These technologies directly impact consumer choice, and in this age of newfound consumer empowerment, merchants are looking for ways to gain influence over the engagement and conversation with POS and payments integration.
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