Smart Shoppers Tap into Apps for Easier Shopping and Bargains

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The holiday shopping season is here, and while many of us will avoid the crowds and shop online, there will be times that require venturing out to face the crowds at the local mall. It doesn’t have to be a stress-filled experience, though, stores and malls are fighting the online shopping trend with apps to help your shopping. From finding parking, finding where an item is within a store, coupons, to even what’s available in the food court stores and malls have figured out—smart shoppers have smartphones.

We’ve covered our picks for shopping apps (which include many of the ones in the NYT article like RedLaser, Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Macy’s) and the NYT article below points out that these apps go well beyond what’s on sale or store hours. Malls themselves are getting into the fray with apps to help shoppers with everything from parking to food:

Those with smartphones in hand will get better planning tools, prices and parking spots. Walmart has a map that shows shoppers exactly where the top Black Friday specials can be found. A Mall of America Twitter feed gives advice on traffic and gifts, and the Macy’s app sends special deals for every five minutes a shopper stays in a store.
From: The Shrewd Shopper Carries a Smartphone – NYTimes.com

This shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us, really. We’ve been comparison shopping store to store, then online, now right in store with apps. It’s a good feeling to be able to know you’ve found the best deal (or get a better one) when you have apps to help you out.

Why the push for store and mall apps? Simple, they want you to come into the stores and malls as the lead in the NYT article says:

Retailers are trying to lure shoppers away from the Internet, where they have increasingly been shopping to avoid Black Friday madness, and back to the stores. The bait is technological tools that will make shopping on the busiest day of the year a little more sane — and give shoppers an edge over their competition.

The NYT article goes on to talk about the Macy’s app telling you which part of their flagship store has a particular sweater on sale or Walmart where a food sample is being offered. Apps like Shopkick give you points for checking out and scanning items (like Foursquare for shopping) and help get more shoppers to go to a store to browse.

I really should have used RedLaser when I was out getting a TOSLINK cable for my new Apple TV, sure would have helped fend off the sales person pushing the over priced Monster cables on me (I didn’t succumb).

Do you have a companion app to shop in stores? What are your best tips to get the best deals (using an app, of course)?

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