December is here which means the obligatory soul-searching and gift-finding marathon has begun. For the latter, there are plenty of gift ideas available on this site and on many others, but that is no reason for you to actually shop til you drop. There are plenty of apps out there to help you shop smarter this Christmas holidays.
We have here 5 apps that can help you have better control over your shopping tendencies, monitor your spending, track your online purchases, find discounts as well as browse and find what you need (and want) more efficiently. Now you don’t even have to leave the house to do your shopping (yay for technology, especially if you are in the US because these apps work best there).
If you love shopping, you’ll want to try out Wanelo Shopping. It’s basically a combination of social media and shopping – think Pinterest, but for shopaholics. With Wanelo, you can follow your favorite stores as well as your favorite Fashionistas (if they’re on the app, of course). It has an interface that is easy to navigate through on your mobile, and a fun color scheme which can really brighten up the shopping mood. Wanelo is available on the Web, Android, and iOS services.
There are plenty of different categories to choose from such as “Trending”, “Home” and “Newly Added” just to name a few.
They even got a” Holidays” and “Browse by Style” category, which can be real helpful.
Take for instance, “Browse by Style”. There are plenty of subcategories that you can experiment with for instance fantasy, minimalist, soft grunge and more.
If you don’t want to go through every item like you’re digging through a bargain bin, you can use this feature.
Swiping right lets you choose what items you like, left, what you don’t like.
What you do like will then end up in the “Quick save” section of your profile.
Follow Stores & Personalities
Want to keep up with what is coming to your favorite stores?
You don’t have to visit the store every single day, just use the “follow” feature to stay updated with the latest.
As a plus, you can also know what other fashionistas are currently raving about and jump onto the latest trends ahead of the crowd.
What I didn’t like
Automatic push notifications. I don’t know about you but the push notifications, to me, are frequent and they get annoying after a while. If you are like me and prefer to be left alone to browse at your own sweet time, you can turn this feature off.
2. Coupon Sherpa
A sucker for coupons? Well, then Coupon Sherpa is going to be your best friend. It started out as an iPhone app back in 2009, providing shopaholics with the mobile version of money-saving coupons. All you need to do is show the mobile coupon with your phone or print it out if you want to use the deals. If you’re shopping via the website then you can use the codes for more savings. The Coupon Sherpa app is available for Android, Apple and you can even access the deals via the site.
The layout of the app works really well and with tabs like “Hot deals” and “In-store” that you can choose from.
I found it useful for quick and easy navigation. The system itself works well too as I could easily spot the brands and deals that I would be most interested in.
Huge Retailer Variety
There’s a great selection of brands to choose from like Banana Republic and H&M.
To top it off, it’s not just select brands but departmental stores and factory outlets that give out these coupon deals too.
If you’re looking to save money within your area, this feature will prove to be useful.
After enabling location services, you can see the best deals that are near your location with this feature.
You can even search via your zip code, if you don’t want to share your location data.
What I didn’t like
The Coupon Sherpa mascot. I’m just not loving the mascot design but other than that, I have no complaints.
3. Monefy – Money Manager
If you’re an impulse shopper, like myself, the holiday sales may feel like a bit of a curse especially if you are trying not to break your budget this year. Monefy is a budgeting app that can help. Generally used for everyday spending, Monefy can also be used to help you watch your Christmas shopping. Create a category specifically for Christmas, to keep tabs on whom or what you’ve been spending on.
Like other similar apps, you can use categories to determine what goes where in terms of your expenses.
However, for Monefy the use of icons and a chart make it easy to see at a glance and keep track of what and where your money is going month after month.
Monitoring Cash Or Card Spending
Under “accounts”, you can choose if you want to log in your expenses under Cash or Card.
The Card option is absolutely crucial for those who love shopping with credit cards – and who would like to outlive their credit card debts.
You never know when you might get carried away with purchase after purchase.
Security and Backup
Monefy comes with passcode protection, Dropbox syncing and the option of additional data backup.
When it comes to your finances, you can never be too careful.
What I Didn’t Like
Ads. If you want more categories, you will need to allow the ads to roll. There are a few other apps out there that lets you do this for free, so this was a bit of a letdown.
ShopAdvisor is an app that can help and advise you whilst you’re out shopping for those holiday gifts. All you need to do is input the item that you’re looking for and it will search through different retailers and bring up available options for you. The results vary depending on how detailed your search is. The app is available on iOS, Android and as a website.
You can speak, scan a product’s barcode or type out your search query to find what you’re looking for.
This is a great feature for quick general searches or if you’re just browsing through the store and want to know if you can get a better deal elsewhere.
This lets you keep up-to-date with a particular item. There are 2 types of alerts you can set for yourself: time alert and price alert.
The time alert reminds you at a preset time daily about the progress of the item.
The price alert only takes effect if the item goes under a certain price change that you’ve predetermined.
The “Refine” function. If you know what you want, the refine function will help you narrow down your choices according to manufacturer, material, style, size, length and color.
What I Didn’t Like
Navigation. Tabs help in general navigation but it gets a bit complicated when you’re looking for something like how to view it in map form. It’s all in the details. Also, the Android app looks amateurish compared to the iOS and Web version. Would have loved for their presence to be more consistent on all platforms.
5. Slice – Online Shopping Tracker
If you make a lot of online purchases, then this is the tracker for you. Slice helps you keep tabs on all your purchases. You can sign up via social media (Google+, Yahoo and Facebook) or via your email address. No more wondering if your Christmas gift has been shipped yet or not. On top of that, it has a couple of fun features. You can access Slice online via the website or on your mobile phones using the app for iOS or Android.