Ecommerce and the mobile revolution have put the power of big data and tons of instant information right at each shopper's fingertips, offering everything from instant purchases to deal searches that help you find the best value and lowest prices. With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, here's a host of helpful shopping apps, including ecommerce juggernauts, coupon collectors, deal finders, price comparison tools and browser extensions all designed to make your shopping easier and less expensive. Never pay full price with the help of the best shopping apps. (Photo Credit: MJTH/Shutterstock)
From its humble beginnings as an online bookstore, Amazon has grown into an ecommerce juggernaut, and its mobile apps (Android, iOS) make sure that you're only a couple of taps away from millions of products, ranging from books to household appliances, software to clothing and everything else in between. Part of what makes Amazon an ecommerce gold standard is the many features integrated into its application, including one-click ordering, wishlists, barcode scanner price checks, voice search, Lightning Deals and more. If you're only going to install one mobile shopping app, this is one of the best ones to grab.
Another familiar name in ecommerce, eBay's mobile apps (Android, iOS) let you get in on the online auction action wherever you go. Users have everything they need to participate in the vibrant eBay marketplace, with search tools for your favorite products and sellers. The app also includes support for a number of coupons and deals, allowing you to find just what you want and place your bid. Notifications can alert you if you succeeded or if you've just been outbid. Besides finding and bidding on items, you can also put up your stuff on sale, with tools like a barcode scanner and QR code reader to help you get a listing set up in minutes.
Easily among the most recognizable brand names in digital deals, Groupon (Android, iOS) allows users to pre-purchase vouchers and deals that offer massive discounts on everything from food and goods to accommodations. The Groupon app allows users to buy and redeem their vouchers on their mobile device, track their voucher use and share their Groupon vouchers to friends and family through social media.
RetailMeNot (Android, iOS) offers a slick, all-in-one discount and coupon hunting app with deals from more than 50,000 retailers and food offers from thousands of nationwide and local restaurants. You can look up the best or most popular deals as well as personalized offers; you can also save a list of your favorite establishments so that the app can notify you of new offers. Categorized searches also allow you to look for just the right discount. Additionally, location-based features allow you to quickly search for deals at nearby shopping destinations, malls and eateries.
Slickdeals (Android, iOS) is an excellent aggregator that collects the best deals available from a wide variety of sources and puts them into a single place. Since the app covers everything from electronics and clothing to groceries and local deals, there's a good chance Slickdeals has what you're looking for. Users can view featured deals on the front page as well as popular or local deals. The app also lets you search and view by product type and set custom deal alerts for specific products and categories.
Rather than bombard you with a ton of coupons and offers that you probably aren't interested in or won't be able to use, Shopular (Android, iOS) offers a more focused presentation. Shopular sorts deals based on the stores closest to you, allowing you to quickly filter by proximity, and the app even brings you the latest deals when you enter a store or mall. In addition, users can filter their favorite stores or product categories. With coupons, deals and weekly offers from the likes of Target, Walmart, Macy's and more, Shopular has something to offer to every shopper looking to save a few bucks.
Ditch the coupon scrapbook and clippers and bring Coupon Sherpa (Android, iOS) along the next time you get shopping. Coupon Sherpa provides users with hundreds of coupons from leading stores, malls and retailers, sorted either by location, favorites, brand or product category. There's no coupon cutting or clipping necessary — just show the coupon entry to the cashiers, and they'll scan it in straight from your phone. Extras include a built-in store locator, favorites lists and easy social sharing options for telling your friends and family about great deals.