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The Gap Inc. (GPS), Safeway Inc. (SWY): Shoppers Choose Apps over People

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More shoppers are using their mobile devices to research prices and products before making a purchase, Google reported on June 12. In fact, many people prefer consulting their smartphones and tablets rather than a person. What companies are taking advantage of this shopping trend?

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS)

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) leads the way

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) allows its customers to shop for products from Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and other stores under its umbrella of retailers from a mobile device. The company takes offering prices, pictures of products, descriptions and locations very seriously, according to the firm’s mobile marketing strategy. The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) is able to connect with its customers and cut costs at its stores. Gap also stands to benefit from reduced costs related to staffing stores if people prefer to use their gadgets. The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) app also keeps people connected to the store wherever they go, and this can help the brand seep into the consciousness of the customers.

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) noted in its 2011 investors meeting that focusing on mobility better connects people to the company. Now, more than ever, companies such as The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) are able to not only market to their customers, but also listen to those customers’ feedback. At the same investors meeting, the firm noted an increased conversion rate of those shopping with the app. The company has a mobile commerce platform that makes it easy for people browsing to make a purchase. This type of ingenuity can really put The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) ahead of the competition.

Check out Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY)’s mobility

Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY)’s app aims to “make shopping fun again!” The Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) app provides shoppers with a convenient way to access coupons and discover the best deals of the week. The app also provides users with the ability to make a shopping list on the phone. Cyborgs, I mean shoppers, can create, edit and update their shopping lists in real time, wherever they are. The app also boasts a Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) weekly ad and coupons that are specifically designed just for smartphone users. Making shopping easier could be Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY)’s ticket to securing market share.

According to Zacks, the digital coupons offered on the app have increased sales, though the company hasn’t said by how much. The more people integrate with apps, the more digital coupons will fuel profits. Forbes said adding the Just for You customer loyalty program, which includes the coupons, marked a fourth-quarter 2012 turnaround for the firm and could help stabilize consistent profits in the years ahead.

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