Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian shoppers not yet an app-happy bunch

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MONTREAL -- Smartphones can scan barcodes and offer real-time discounts but most Canadians won't bother using apps while shopping this holiday season, a new survey suggests.

About 70 per cent of those surveyed weren't planning to use a mobile application or feature to help buy gifts, according to the results of a poll commissioned by wireless carrier Mobilicity.

Smartphone apps can give users notifications of what discounts are being offered in a mall and at what stores, said Anthony Booth, Mobilicity's chief customer officer.

"The real astute users are the people who have figured out how to take advantage of things in real time by using their smartphone," Booth said from Toronto.

Black Friday, the day after U.S. Thanksgiving, has come to Canada and generally marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Apps such as TGI Black Friday and Black Friday Deals and Coupons allows smartphone users to search from thousands discounts.

Booth said even though Canadians do a lot of online research and price comparison, app adoption is about a year behind the United States. He expects more uptake by Canadians in 2013.

But the survey did find that 43 per cent of 18-to-34 year olds planned on using features and apps on their mobile phones to help with holiday shopping.

Marta Tryshak, creator of lifestyle and fashion website WithLoveGabrielle.com, has been using her smartphone for four years to find the best prices and said it's a must for Black Friday and other holiday shopping.

"Those are the times when you have to have a strategy when it comes to shopping, otherwise you will be overwhelmed," said 24-year-old Tryshak.

"There's no better way to do so than just checking on your phone... you can't tug along your laptop."

Tryshak is using the Shop Savvy barcode scanner app, Instagram app for photo sharing of products and microblogging site Twitter.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 23, 2012 B19

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