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Grow Your Business Technology

5 Mobile Apps Changing Shopping Forever

shopping apps
These shopping apps make mobile shopping easier than ever. / Credit: Mobile image via Shutterstock

Mobile shopping doesn't just mean visiting a retailer's website and making purchases on a mobile phone. Today, the latest mobile app technology is turning smartphone users into smart shoppers as well. Here are five apps that are on the forefront of technology and shopping.

Visual search, which uses recognition technology to make finding products on a mobile phone easier than ever, is one technology that's changing how we shop. CamFind is one of those apps. It is free on both Android and iOS.  

Using mobile visual search, CamFind makes it easy for shoppers to find more information about an item and where they can buy it. For instance, users can simply take a picture of an item, and the app identifies the product and tells users where they can find the best deal.

CamFind's interface gives price comparisons, and information on any item that's photographed. This is extremely important when it comes to doing research before purchasing technology, such as televisions. CamFind allows people to simply take a picture of a product to determine if they are getting the best deal in the store.

ShopSavvy is a free app for iOS or Android. It lets you scan any barcode or search for any product and instantly find out who offers the best price. It scans millions of products from some 40,000 stores, including Amazon, Macy's, Target, Best Buy, Walmart and Newegg.

Some of those stores let you buy through the ShopSavvy app and earn 20 percent cash back when you do. Other features include the ability to save and track your favorite products' prices. You can send yourself an email with what you've searched for purchasing later, or you can create wish lists and shopping lists.

Editor's Note: BusinessNewsDaily is owned by Purch, which also owns ShopSavvy.

The Slyce visual search technology can recognize color, style, patterns and other attributes through your phone's camera. It then uses those features to identify products. The free iOS and Android app integrates with dozens of retailers to make it easy to then buy those products.

With Slyce, users can take a picture of an item from print ads, circulars and catalogs, then easily buy the product directly from the retailer via the app in just a couple taps. You can also upload images from Instagram or Pinterest and then compare prices across stores. The app saves credit card information, contact information and shipping addresses, making the buying process a breeze.

Android Pay and Apple Pay are both digital wallets. You can have Google's version on Android for free, but Passbook is part of the iPhone's preloaded ecosystem. Digital wallets store your various credit and bank cards, and encrypt your data. You can then just wave your phone in front of the contactless checkout counter.

Android Pay is accepted at millions of stores, including Best Buy, JetBlue, Macy's, Petco, Subway and Walgreens. It can connect to your loyalty cards for Walgreens and Coca-Cola so you still earn rewards points. At some outlets, such as Jet.com, you can get special discounts for using Android Pay.

Apple Pay is also accepted at millions of stores, including Ace Hardware, Barneys, Crate and Barrel, Food Locker, Office Depot, and Staples. You can also use Apple Pay to donate to a variety of charities, such as UNICEF and Feeding America.

Available for free on Android and iOS, The Hunt is a social shopping app. On this platform, you can exchange style advice, discover new trends and share your own shopping tips. You can post photos of something you spotted on the street and the community will help you find and buy it. You can also poll the community, asking if something is worth a purchase. Plus, you can buy things you find on the app or save them to your wish list.

Anna Attkisson

After getting infected with the tech bug at Wireless World and Cellular Business magazines as an intern in 1998, Anna Attkisson went on to dabble in all sorts of publications covering everything from children’s fashion to financial planning, cars and travel. During the last 10 years, she’s returned to her roots where she’s been writing and editing for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide, before moving on to Tom’s IT Pro, Business.com and Business News Daily. She has a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas.