Go mobile! 5 tips for shopping with your smartphone
You use your smartphone to take photos, stream podcasts, manage your appointments and to-do lists, serve as a flashlight in a pinch and, sure, make the occasional phone call. But more and more of you are also turning to your smartphone to be a trusty shopping companion, whether you’re shopping in-store or online. (We’re just waiting to overhear “Siri, do these jeans make my butt look big?” in a fitting room. Don’t answer that, Siri!).
Mobile shopping is becoming more popular than ever this year, according to survey results from the National Retail Federation.
The majority of smartphone users (55.7 percent) will use their on-the-go devices to help with their holiday shopping this season, up from 53.8 percent last year. Specifically, nearly 36 percent will use their phones to research products and prices; about 24 percent will redeem coupons and 19 percent will purchase items from their phones, the survey results show.
Here are some tips, tricks and apps to make your mobile shopping experience one to write, er, text, home about.
Safety first. Think of your smartphone as a mini mobile computer. With that said, make sure you’re on a home, secured WiFi network when you’re making mobile purchases and never enter credit card information to make a purchase if you’re connected to a public WiFi network. To protect your smartphone against viruses, spyware, botnets and other malware, consider a mobile security package. The McAfee All Access package, on sale for $49.99, provides unlimited licenses to protect all of your devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets—keeping your identity and data out of the hands of hackers and identity thieves so that you can safely shop and bank online.
Download the ShopAtHome.com app. Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, the ShopAtHome.com app will help you save big. Access 300,000-plus coupons online at more than 55,000 stores and websites, plus earn Cash Back at hundreds of stores and get free gift cards for connecting with your savings-savvy friends. Shopping in store? You can save, too, by receiving notifications when there are in-store offers at nearby malls and stores and accessing digital coupons to present at the register. Download it for your iPhone, iPad, Kindle or Android.
Get social. Find a whole sisterhood of shoppers online with apps like The Hunt. If you spot an outfit you love—no matter if it’s on the street, your favorite television drama or Pinterest—snap and post the picture and a community of more than 3 million savvy shoppers will help you track down the look. Trade fashion tips and get advice from fellow fashionistas. This app has been dubbed a favorite by editors at InStyle magazine.
Shop standout stores. If you’re going to make the switch to mobile shopping, here are a few of our favorite retailers when it comes to app features:
- The Forever 21 app allows you to scan bar codes in-store of items that you’re considering and instantly pull up online reviews.
- Nordstrom’s app let’s you buy online, pick up in store.
- Walgreens let’s you “refill by scan.” Simply scan the bar code on your prescription bottles for instant refills. You can also set up a “pill reminder” to manage reminders when it’s time to take your prescriptions and a “refill reminder” to get alerts when it’s time to refill your prescriptions. Another great feature? “QuickPrints” that lets you print photos from your phone, Facebook or Instagram accounts. You can even create personalized photo cards and edit your photos from the app.