More people using smartphones to shop

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Along with the hustle and bustle and all the shopping bags, something else has become part of the holiday landscape -- smartphones.

"It's definitely safe to say that more people are doing mobile shopping online for sure," Editor-in-Chief Yung Trang said.

Trang's website tech surveyed users and found out more than half of them have bought something this holiday season using their phones. And of the ones who own tablets, about three-quarters, have bought something with those. The bigger screen just makes buying easier.

"If you've ever tried to purchase something on a regular web site via your mobile phone, it's nearly impossible," Trang said.

Trang says phone shoppers tend to email themselves the link then buy it later on their laptop. But some new apps like Amazon's are changing that.

"The No. 1 reason we found is ease of use; apps on the iPhone make it easier to purchase," Trang said.

Shopping on smartphones and tablets isn't just an alternative to the maddening crowds at the stores. Much to the dismay of salespeople, a growing number of shoppers are using them inside the stores.

Patricia Arciniega can't even count the times a customer's tried on shoes at the store where she works and then walked out, phone in hand.

"The customer wants the best price," she said.

Given the economy, consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow is not surprised.

"What we're finding is that people really want to comparison shop, they want to be able to know for sure that they got the best possible deal and they're using technology to get that deal," Yarrow said.

Yarrow says retailers will have to match prices to compete.

"It's not like consumers are going to unlearn these new tricks; they have them, they're going to keep using them," Yarrow said.

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