If you think mobile technology steadily has been taking over the way you shop, you're right.
It also continues to play a dominant role for retailers, at least according to Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions' 6th annual holiday shopping study released this week.
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The survey showed that 61 percent of responding retail managers believe that shoppers are better connected to information than in-store associates, an increase from nearly 59 percent in 2011 and 51 percent in 2010. Also, 46 percent of Gen Y shoppers, 38 percent of Gen X shoppers and 32 percent of Boomers felt better connected to product information than associates, the survey said.
"Historically, retailers looked at technology for their supply chain and to be sure they're fully stocked around the holidays," said Jerry McNerney, senior director of Enterprise Marketing/North America at Motorola Solutions. "Now, they're putting the tools in the hands of sales associate to interact more with the customers."
Motorola conducted the surveys in November and December with 1,200 responding shoppers over the age of 18, and about 400 retailers nationwide.
While the information isn't surprising for a society that leans heavily on technology more each year, the data helps Motorola continue to develop or tweak the products it makes and sells to retailers to help consumers find and buy what they want.
In fact, 82 percent of retail associates agreed that improving in-store communication between staff and managers would have a positive effect on shopper satisfaction, the survey said.
"If associates can at least show customers alternatives, if their product isn't in stock, then that could keep the sales in the store and help the customer with what they need," McNerney said.
Surfing:PushCoin, a newly launched Geneva-based business allows young people a chance to use spending money when they need it and enable parents to provide them a mobile payment platform for spending. PushCoin is a free, prepaid mobile platform, and there is no purchase or cost associated with funding a PushCoin account. Parents can open an account online, fund it and provide their teens with either a wristband or sticker to use for spending. When PushCoin is used at school or a local merchant the user confirms payment through input of a PIN for added security.
• HandsOn Suburban Chicago in Arlington Heights recently partnered with DonorShare in Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows and Des Plaines where community members can make online donations to local charities. Since November, this partnership has been growing and the two organizations are now working together in eight communities. The latest sites, www.donorshare.org/DesPlaines, www.donorshare.org/RollingMeadows and www.donorshare.org/HoffmanEstates,that list organizations by specific cause, provide some background on the group's mission and how an individual donation can make a difference.
• Suburban leaders take note: Chicagoans now can interact with Chicago's 311 system via a text message. With this new feature, texting CHICAGO to 311311 allows people to submit a service request, track the progress of the request, and signup to receive an email when the issue is resolved. The new system also allows residents to sign up for localized city alerts based on their address.
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