A Guide to Smartphone Apps – Shopping


Looking for some retail assistance? Check out these handy apps for your smartphone…

Just because the holidays are over, that doesn’t mean shopping is! Whether you’re looking for the perfect birthday present, anniversary gift or a little something for yourself, these apps will help you when you’re in a retail frenzy.

You’ve decided to buy your mother-in-law a cashmere cardigan, but can’t decide which color looks best. You need a second opinion (and third, and fourth), and this app gives you just that. Simply use your phone to snap a photo of each cardigan, add your question (which sweater?) and the app can upload it to your Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, or send it to selected recipients in a text message or email. People then cast their vote, which you receive instantly. Plus side, you can also ask people anything about everything…any topic! (iPhone)

To use this on-the-fly comparison app, simply scan a product’s barcode. The app immediately presents the price of the scanned item at many different retailers, as well as where those retailers are located in relation to your current position. To make sure your chosen store doesn’t run out of the item you seek, simply purchase it directly through the app and pick it up at a nearby store at your convenience. (iPhone, Android, Windows)

Discover your inner high-tech extreme couponer with this clever app, which allows you to convert print coupons into a digital format. Use your phone to take a photo of any coupon, and the app will scan all of the coupon’s images/text and save the newly digitized coupon on your phone, where you can easily retrieve it in-store. The app does the rest, alerting you when you’ve entered a store you have a coupon for and when a coupon is about to expire. (iPhone)

Use this platform to easily organize and bookmark important online material. Its real-time price drop alerts help you keep track of your favorite products going on sale after the holdays. (iPhone, Android)

This popular app allows you to view prices, reviews and coupons for millions of consumer products at thousands of retailers. See what others are saying about the quality and fit of those heels you’re contemplating, and find out where you can purchase them at the lowest price, before you buy. Still not quite ready to make the commitment? Add the shoes to your NextTag Radar to view later. (iPhone, Android, Windows)

Chances are, you’ve purchased an item only to find it went on sale weeks later. Never again! This super-smart app lets you know whether to buy that electronic/appliance/home and garden/sporting goods item now or wait. Decide can predict price drops using algorithms that analyze historical pricing date for other items in its class, among other things. If you must purchase a pricey appliance, what’s waiting another week if it saves you a bundle? (iPhone)


By Michelle Phelan


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