Despite being the world's largest economy, the US has faced volatile economic growth following the global financial crisis. As a direct result of their squeezed purse-strings, American consumers have become increasingly conscious of their spending, leading to a rise in 'bargain hunting'.
Since the recession, US consumers have been consistently skeptical about their futures, and the growth of their incomes. Consequently, they are now spending much more time researching the market prior to making purchases, comparing the prices of competing retailers to find the best possible deals.
In addition to simply visiting different retail outlets, price-conscious consumers are increasingly turning to social networks to find the best prices; this may simply be their existing network of friends or family, but is increasingly being facilitated by social networking and the product review sections of popular websites. The ever-expanding capabilities – and ever-increasing affordability – of mobile phones is another key driver of this trend, with cost-savvy consumers able to utilize this portable technology to compare competing retailers' prices before they take goods to the checkout, or simply to make purchases on the move. Thus, retailers have moved to capitalize on this trend, and have been setting up mobile-friendly sites to capture the growing m-commerce market.
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