Smartphones. Just the thing for smart shoppers

Mobile phoneHow things have changed. It wasn’t that long ago when mobile phones were just that – phones. Nowadays using that mobile gadget to make a phone call is becoming increasingly rare. It’s like an add-on extra to the hand-held computer that keeps the user in touch with their world by email, social media, Skype and so on. You can even see where you are in a town, and also where you need to be, by launching the maps application. It also helps you find the shortest way of getting from A to B.

It didn’t take long for big business to latch on to the power of the internet some years ago by launching their online shopping services. And while some have worked really well there have been some horror stories of hidden costs, wrong items delivered and even cases of virtually nothing delivered as “the warehouse didn’t have stock” leading to the hapless shopper having to nip out anyway, to do what they were hoping not to have to do in the first place – go shopping.

But with all the problems that might have been associated with the big guys online shopping, there is a new move afoot that may just help the High Street businesses. The concept is the same. Shop online, but shop using local suppliers. The idea is to get local business who wish to participate to register with Hubbub and then residents in an area can see who’s available that they can buy from. Fishmongers, delis, butchers and others ply their wares via this website. All that has to happen now, is that all the local shops participate – otherwise you’ll be using that maps app on your smartphone to find a shop that sells what you need instead of having it delivered!

Image: John Nyberg

Image: John Nyberg

Another great use for smartphones is seen almost daily in supermarkets and stores around the country. People are using the “calculator” function more and more. Even those folk who grew up as the generation that learned their multiplication tables by rote are using this function. Simple calculations have been taken away from the public by clever merchandisers. Gone are the days when it was easy to work out which cheese was cheaper by checking the price per kilo. Now there are all types of packaged goods in differing quantities. Like £2.80 for 190g … so how much is that compared to the brand advertised at £4.49 for 350g? Out comes the smartphone to see which is the best deal.

The poor stocktakers! How do they stay in touch without things like computers and complex formulae to keep the playing fields level? Jon Rutter and his team probably don’t have much use anymore for pieces of “arithmetic paper.” They must love that Σ symbol on their spreadsheets that works out the formula automatically. And it’s not only cheese that’s been causing a fuss! There has been a bit of a hoo-haa recently with supermarkets advertising “half-price” wine, when in fact that appears to be just marketing lingo.

Yep, things have changed! Get out the smartphones, and start comparing prices!