Whether it's using smartphones to create shopping lists, browse store catalogs or search for deals, the high-tech mobile devices can enhance the shopping experience and reduce the stress associated with it.
According to Usablenet's Mobile Technology In-Store Report, 70 percent of U.S. shoppers carry their phones with them while shopping, and 30 percent of those people use their phones to better their shopping experience.
With apps such as Shopkick, RetailMeNot and Black Friday, smartphone users can easily compare prices, find the best deals and even earn rewards for all of their holiday shopping, including on Black Friday.
Here are some of the best apps for assisting shoppers on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season:
--Shopkick: This free shopping app available for Android and iPhone allows users to browse catalogs, view deals and earn points at all big retail chains such as Target, Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Macy's. The app rewards users for visiting the stores, which they can later redeem for gift cards and other prizes. Users also can search and purchase specific items directly from the app, which will earn them even more reward points.
--RetailMeNot: This free app available for Android and iPhone connects users with all of the coupons and promotional codes they could ever want or need. Searching for specific stores, users can easily view all available coupons in one location. Users can plan ahead and save the coupons they'll need for easy access when they're at the checkout. The app includes in-store and online coupons.
--TGIBlackFriday: This free app for Android and iPhone allows users to access all big Black Friday deals and steals in one location. Searching by store or item, users can view all available advertisements, as well as any applicable coupons. Users can save their items in a list for easy access at the store and check them off as they go.
--Evernote: This is one of many organization apps that could be used for creating a plan of action for one's Black Friday shopping. Make a list and check it off as items are purchased to stay on track and on budget.
--Mall Maps: This app available only for iPhone is useful for users who will be traveling out of town for the holidays. Users can search by city and state for specific shopping centers to view store directories and maps. This can save time and frustration, especially in large shopping centers like the Mall of America.
--Shop Savvy, Red Laser: These apps available for Android and iPhone are essentially the same. They both allow users to scan product barcodes using the phone's camera feature and quickly compare prices at various locations. The apps include in-store and online prices at various stores.
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