- The latest mobile app technology is turning smartphone users into smart shoppers.
- Mobile shopping apps can help you save money, time, and some alert you to hot deals on the items you've had your eye on. Some apps lets you snap a picture of an item, and the app tells you where you can find the best deal. Other apps, like Ibotta and Dosh, give you money back.
- Digital wallet apps, such as Android Pay and Apple Pay, simplify the checkout process, and they are accepted at hundreds of retailers nationwide.
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 six apps that are at the forefront of technology and shopping.
Visual search, which uses recognition technology to make it easy to find products on a mobile phone, 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, as well as information on any item that's photographed. This information is particularly helpful for big technology purchases, such as televisions. CamFind allows you to simply take a picture of a product to determine if you are getting the best deal.
ShopSavvy is a free app for iOS or Android. It lets you scan any barcode or search for any product and instantly find out which retailer offers the best price. The app 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% 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 so you can purchase the product later, as well as create wish lists and shopping lists.
Editor's note: Business News Daily and ShopSavvy were formerly owned by the same parent company.
3. Digital wallets
Android Pay and Apple Pay are examples of digital wallets. You can have Google's version on Android for free, but Apple Pay and Apple Wallet are 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 also can connect to your loyalty cards for brands such as 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, Foot Locker, Office Depot and Staples. You can also use Apple Pay to donate to a variety of charities, such as UNICEF and Feeding America.
The Ibotta app is free for both Android and iOS and is great for people who like to get money back when they shop. This app works with most retailers, and you can scan your receipts, save deals and access app-specific deals to help you save money. The app features regular offers that you can apply to your account to get bonus money back when you scan your receipt. Ibotta offers cents back on certain items you buy; when you scan your receipt, the purchase is confirmed, and the balance is added to your account, where you can cash out after you reach $20 in rewards.
Slickdeals is a little different. It sends alerts when certain types of sales are going on. The app is free for both iOS and Android, and you can set up personalized alerts for sales around you. If you are looking to purchase a laptop, for instance, you can create a deal alert that will notify you when great deals are going on. You can browse featured deals, popular deals and coupons, as well as talk with other users about the deals they have found.
This app links to your debit card, and you shop at the stores you already use. You can also use the Dosh app to access your frequently used websites, to get deals and money-back offers. You can do a quick payout to Venmo or PayPal after you have gotten $15 in your account. You can also get deals on hotels.