If you don’t grab your smartphone when you hit the door to head to the mall, you’re missing out. Comparison shopping, after all, just isn’t what it used to be – too many stores, not enough time in the day. Why drag yourself from place to place and dig through departments looking for a specific item and its price tag when you can slip your phone into your hand and, with a couple of finger swipes, have the information you want?
Like so many other industries, the retail world has changed by mobile app development. Shoppers in Manhattan can compare prices at Macy’s with those at other stores in New Jersey. Vacationers can decide whether to pack a beach towel or if one in a shop by the sea is within their budget. Many retail establishments – including Wal-Mart, Sears, JC Penney, and Macy’s – offer mobile versions of their website or apps to help customers. It’s no surprise; a recent survey by Foresee found that 1/3 of consumers had accessed a store’s mobile site to compare prices, view stock and read reviews.
Going shopping without mobile apps means you might miss some great bargains. If you can find a pair of heels for 30 percent off with an app, you either have money to put into savings or more money to spend on the matching purse. The small amount of time it takes to download, install and open an app can pay off with significant savings, whether you’re shopping for outerwear, accessories or furniture. Keep in mind that an app doesn’t need to promise savings to offer savings. Official apps from your favorite stores aren’t designed to find you the best deal over multiple stores, but you can consult them for coupons or in-store specials before leaving your home.
Knowing where to start is the hard part. There are hundreds of thousands of apps available in every app store, whether you have an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android phone or tablet. Separating the useful from the not-so-useful is key to a successful shopping experience. Try out these great apps and watch your savings grow.
- iSlick lets you browse the deals of most major retailers in America. If you have favorites, just set up the app to alert you when those stores put up new deals. You might miss a television advertisement or dismiss items in your mailbox as junk, but when an app alerts you a new deal is in, you’ll definitely catch it in time.
- RetailMeNot is a free app that makes it easy to search thousands of stores for deals on the products you want. The best part is, you don’t need to print anything out. You can present the coupon on the screen of your iPhone at the register to receive the discount. This makes RetailMeNot an ideal app for shopping on the go.
- Slick Deals is a crowd-sourced program that finds freebies and deals at online and offline stores. Though the online website is larger and easier to read in the forums, the app still offers forum access from the screen of your smartphone. You don’t need to miss any deals just because you’re not at home.
So download a mobile shopping app today. Since they’re free, you won’t be losing any money up front. You will, however, have better access to the latest deals long before you set foot in a store.