Emails that announce store sales are so last year. This year, use your smartphone and tablet to score deals on holiday shopping with apps that compare prices, receive discounts, and buy products. Some apps even include in-store maps! A recent USA Today story noted the trend.
Half of those who own smartphones will use them during holiday shopping and 71% of tablet owners will use them to tackle holiday tasks, according to the National Retail Federation. Here are seven tips to shop smart with your mobile.
- Stick with free apps. No need to shell out money. If there is a particular app that costs money and you absolutely must have it, don’t pay full price! Follow the tips I shared in a previous post on how to purchase inexpensive iPhone apps.
- Limit your downloads. Having too many apps will overwhelm you. Go for specific store apps when you plan to make a purchase from that particular retailer. There’s no point in having the Home Depot app, which is super helpful (it can scan QR codes and pull up reviews of products), if you’re not planning a purchase there.
- Stay on budget. You’ll find an array of budgeting apps that allow you to keep track of your holiday list so you can stay on budget and don’t miss anyone. Download one and make good use of it.
- Get a price comparison app. Two useful apps to consider are RedLaser and Price Check. RedLaser is available for the iPhone and Android. RedLaser searches online and local retailers to help you find the best prices. Price Check will show you product specifications, prices of used and new items, and reviews.
- Enable geo fencing. Retailers like PacSun and North Face, which seldom has markdowns, have apps that send you deals when you are near one of their stores. To get deals, make sure you give the app permission to track your location using your phone’s GPS. Look for a prompt when you install the app.
- Track your receipts. Many retailers are now emailing receipts. For those that still use paper, consider getting an app that will help you track your receipts. One of my favorites is Lemon. You’ll have to create an account online before starting. It’s free! After downloading snap a photo of your receipt. You won’t misplace a receipt again!
- Keep your mobile safe. Whether you’re tracking receipts or using your phone to pay, make sure you always keep an eye on your phone. Protect your phone by adding a password. If someone get a hold of it and tries to break in, all your information will be deleted for your protection.
Check out our favorite Christmas and holiday shopping apps from 2010!