Online shopping apps are one of the most popular digital downloads in the world. And for good reason: We love to shop online and we want to save money! Retailers figured this out. In 2016, almost 1.61 billion people around the world purchased products online. Global e-retail sales reached $1.9 trillion in the U.S. alone. E-commerce analysists see massive growth in online shopping, especially in developing countries.
Bricks and mortar retailers, struggling to get live shoppers back inside their stores, developed their own store-apps that coordinate with online shopping apps to maximize your shopping enjoyment.
Talk about Big Data! How do you navigate through all the seemingly endless opportunities to shop online and yet find the best price for the best product? The solution? Online shopping apps.
Use with Caution
Online shopping apps save you time and money, but there is a danger too. Our digital devices are practically always in our hands, meaning that the door to shopping is never closed. A streamlined shopping experience makes it easy to overspend and buy on impulse. This unfettered access to shopping can easily destroy our budget if we are not very disciplined. On the other hand, online shopping apps provide us with the best tools for shopping wisely.
Let’s first look at the benefits of online shopping apps.
Improved Shopping List
Whether going to the store or shopping online, you should always take a list of what you need. Inventory what you have at home and revise the list constantly. Before you make a purchase, check to see if the item is on your list.
Many online shopping apps have a list and budget feature built it which can help us stay on track. For instance, the Kohl shopping app has a budget feature. It automatically deducts the price of the item you are purchasing from your budget. Flip, one of the most popular online shopping apps, also has a list feature, helping you to plan in advance by searching for upcoming sales.
Some online shopping apps allow you to use your camera to scan the barcode and access product details and customer reviews. The Sephora app uses augmented reality, which means you can try on beauty products before you buy them. You just have to look into the camera and you’ll see the finished product! Walmart’s Savings Catcher Tool is great for finding out if you could have done better on the price. Even after you have purchased a product, you can take a photo of your receipt, and the app will scan for a lower price. It even looks at competitors. If they beat the Walmart price, you get a refund of the difference.
Online Shopping Apps Save You Time and Money
Let’s face it, time is money. Anything that saves us time is precious. And, while going to the mall can be a social experience, it is so much less stressful to shop from bed or the sofa. Shopping apps like ShopStyle, function like a clearinghouse, streamlining the shopping process and saving us time. Target and Amazon use digital wallets and augmented reality (AR) to help consumers save money and time. Probably the two most favorite online shopping apps are Groupon and PriceGrabber, both of which help you quickly locate the best deals.
Here is how to budget-proof Your online shopping apps:
Disable them. All those great push notifications from your online shopping apps that come through your email or messenger entice you to shop even when you weren’t thinking about it. According to a study conducted by Leanplum consumers are 9.6 times more likely to make a purchase in response to the push notification they receive. They also found that push notifications are responsible for increasing the average shopper’s tab by 16%.
Refuse the option to store your payment information on the app. While it makes things move more quickly at check-out, it also makes it too easy to spend more than you can afford. The very process of having to enter payment information draws your attention to your spending. Automatic checkout is like invisible money. You have no attachment to the debt you may be accumulating. This extra step provides you with time for second thoughts before you tap the “pay” button.
We love our online shopping apps but so do cybercriminals.
- Don’t be adventurous and fall for an online retail site you’ve never heard of. Cybercriminals set up false sites. The deals look great and they walk off with your money. Use your social media channels to find out if anyone else has ever used the site.
- Don’t finalize your purchase if you don’t see the SSL encryption logo.
- If you are shopping on the road, don’t use hotspots.
- Watch out for email links that you receive via messenger. These may appear to come from online retail sites but they could be a phishing scam. Resist the urge to click.
- Download all your online shopping apps from reputable sites.