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 upon us and Black Friday just days away, here are a host of helpful shopping apps, including ecommerce juggernauts, coupon collectors, deal finders, and price comparison tools 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. There's even support for Amazon's AI assistant, Alexa, which can aid you in voice-assisted search, reordering and item tracking.
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 their 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.
Dosh (Android, iOS) is a credit card rewards and cash-back app that focuses on ease of use and automation, doing away with coupon cutting, receipt scanning and discount codes in favor of automation. You connect your credit or debit card accounts to the app; whenever you make a purchase, Dosh automatically searches for discount codes, coupons, and other promotions, automatically applying them to your purchase. Cash back is redeemed instantly into your Dosh wallet, which you can transfer into a bank account, PayPal, or the charity of your choice.
Birch Finance (iOS) takes a more analytical approach to maximizing your credit card rewards, analyzing your spending habits and suggesting which cards to use based on what you buy. Users securely link their bank accounts to Birch, and the app then syncs your purchase history. Birch then recommends three cards that maximize your rewards based on your purchases; the app also points out purchases where a different card might have provided greater rewards. In addition to the analytics, Birch Finance recommends the best card to use for purchases in nearby establishments, helping you save more money and maximize your discounts, rewards and loyalty points.
Package tracking app Arrive (iOS) is a Shopify Garage project that takes all the guesswork out of figuring out when your packages and purchases will reach you or your recipient with smart, automatic package tracking and notifications. Users simply sync their email with the app, and Arrive automatically tracks package information from hundreds of retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Urban Outfitters, and postal services such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL. You can track your packages on the map or view order information and receipts. The app also helps in contacting retailers and carriers if any problems arise with your shipment. The service is in live beta, and it looks like a promising addition to the online shopper's arsenal.
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.
ShopSavvy (Android, iOS) is a handy shopping companion from Purch (the parent company of Tom's Guide). It helps shoppers scan barcodes or search for an item to look up the best prices at top retailers and shops nationwide. Tag-based searching and a Sales tab also keep it easy for users to find and track the latest sales relevant to them, with daily updates on promos. You can even set a "SmartAlert" that notifies you of special deals that fit a particular profile for products that you're looking for. Cashback promos reward you for shopping at your favorite stores.