Planning to hit the malls for Black Friday this year? Before you do, check out MainStreet's list of the best apps for Black Friday.
It's that time of year again. We're approaching Black Friday—one of the busiest shopping days of the year. And the holiday shopping season is looking good this year. Sales are expected to increase by 2.8%, according to the National Retail Federation.
And since smartphones are becoming mainstream, we've compiled the top ten free apps to navigate Black Friday. Millions of shoppers are expected to hit the malls Thanksgiving weekend—and there's nothing like a nifty smartphone app to help alleviate some of the chaos.
TGI Black Friday
Sifting through the plethora of advertisements and circulars from newspapers and websites for Black Friday is a daunting task. This app does the work for you. Access any Black Friday ad on the app, which is available on the iPhone and Android platforms. The app lets you see the ads before they appear in the newspaper—and it even alerts you when new ads are available.
If you're in a store and the app tells you that an online retailer sells that LCD television for $50 less, you can either leave the store and head to the online retailer, or ask a salesperson in the store to match the price (see MainStreet's look at ten major retailers' price-match policies for details)—and you can show the salesperson the app as proof of the competitor's better price, right on the spot! That way you can purchase the item right then and there and not have to wait for it to be shipped to your doorstep.
Lemon - Receipts Refreshed
It's very easy to lose your receipts—and without the receipt, most stores will not take back your unwanted items. Plus, keeping your receipts is critical for proper expense tracking. Use the Lemon app on the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, which lets you scan receipts and search for them using the app. You'll have all of your receipts in one place on your phone, and you won't have to worry about losing them, printing them out or leaving them at home.
When you're in the mall and don't know how get to your favorite store, this app (on the iPhone and Android phones) will give you walking directions to find your favorite stores in your local mall. And if you shake the phone, the app will find the nearest restrooms. You don't need an Internet connection or GPS to operate the app, either, so it's super convenient.
The days of printing out coupons are over. The CouponSherpa app (on the iPhone and Android phones) lets you find coupons on the go that you can redeem them by having the cashier scan the bar code that appears on the phone's screen.
You don’t have to worry about losing the coupons or leaving them in the car or at home. All the coupons you need for shopping are located conveniently on the phone, within the app.
One of the most difficult parts of holiday shopping is figuring out what to buy your friends and family (see "8 Thoughtful Gifts That Require No Thought" for some ideas). But the Giftmeister app (on the iPhone and Android phones) makes it easier by having you answer a simple questionnaire about the person you are buying a gift for (age, gender, interests) and your price range and the app will find various gift suggestions. The app has access to more than 150,000 products, so there's a strong chance you'll find a great gift.
Any time you walk into a participating retailer, a device in the store will register with the shopkick app (on the iPhone and Android phones) and you will earn rewards points, known as "kicks." You can then redeem these points for gift cards, magazine subscriptions, Facebook credits and movie tickets—you earn the points by simply walking into participating stores, which include major retailers like Macy’s, Target, Best Buy and West Elm!
Scan the bar code of any item in a store and the SnapTell app (on the iPhone and Android phones) will instantly find reviews and ratings from past customers who already own the item. This app will help you to stay away from items that are of poor quality. After all, we’ve all bought something that looks great in the store, only to realize it’s a piece of junk once we get it home. The ability to check the reviews of items while you’re in the store will save you time, money and aggravation.
If you want to keep up with the latest fashion trends this holiday season, use the ShopStyle app (on the iPhone) to search for clothing at more than 300 retailers – you can even buy any item directly from the retailer using the app. And if you’re concerned that you won’t be able to clearly see what you’re buying on the small screen of the smartphone, you’re in luck, because the app is very user-friendly with clear, high-quality photos.
Black Friday App
What’s Black Friday without the official Black Friday App? Available on the iPhone, this app allows you to share Black Friday ads and circulars with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Other features include adding items to a customizable shopping list and the ability to connect directly to the retailer’s website to start shopping.
To read this story in its original form, head over to MainStreet.
Image Credit: Flickr/paulaloe