BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER: From bricks and mortar to click and order, the lines are blurring as the nations top retailers' in-store apps finally catch on with consumers. According to Nielsen, 40 percent of mobile shoppers use lists on their smartphone while shopping. 39 percent use mobile coupons. 63 percent check prices and 26 percent use them to pay. Forrester Research's Julie Ask:
JULIE ASK, ANALYST, FORRESTER RESEARCH: "The first thing that the retailers are chasing is the influence of the in store purchase because that's the bigger opportunity. The internet influences the majority of sales in a retail environment. and so having the opportunity to engage with that consumer at the point or at the moment that they are making a decision has phenomenal potential for the retailer."
REPORTER: Target, Apple, J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart are all using apps to leverage the in-store experience. Wal-Mart's mobile head Gibu Thomas:
GIBU THOMAS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF MOBILE AND DIGITAL, WAL-MART STORES: "We found within 2 weeks of launching this experience over 60% of our customers were opting in to use store mode which is really encouraging, and since then the numbers have been going up. The second piece that we found was that over 12 percent of online sales through our apps happen when a customer is in store mode. "
REPORTER: That store mode immediately senses when customers enter a Wal-Mart. It puts aisle locators on their mobile shopping lists, prompts them to look at roll backs and local ads, and allows them to check prices. At Wal-Mart, it's all about capturing the sale using the app while the customer is in the store. So let's say I want buy some Furbys. The good news is there's one on the shelf but I want to buy some more. I can take the one that I found I can scan it. The app recognizes it and searches for whether its available on line and, if it is, I can then buy it and have it delivered to the store to pick up later. Wal-Mart customer, Oviae Campanioni, used the price match feature.
OVIAE CAMPANIONI, WAL-MART SHOPPER: "I went on my smartphone and I went to the Wal-Mart app, I went to the register and I got price compare and I paid cheaper than I thought I was going to pay and that's why I'm happy. "
REPORTER: J.C. Penney has iPads with their app for customers to use while they are shopping. At Target, consumers can scan and buy an item in the store on their mobile phone and have it shipped free. At Apple no registers needed to pay—just the app. So let's say I need to pick up a new power cord for my iPhone 5. All I do is pick it up off the shelf. The app from the Apple store already knows that I'm in the store. I don't need to find any customer service helpers because I can use the easy pay feature to just scan the device and I'm good to go. While the apps are a hit with consumers, its still too early to tell how much impact all the clicking will have on retailers' bottom lines.