Last year, online retail spending reached £100 billion for the first time, and marked a 13% rise in online shoppers from 2013. This year, 45% of buyers stated they planned to search for and buy their gifts online, and up to 72% will make at least one online purchase for the festive season. Not only is everyone deciding to shop online instead of braving the busy, cold high street, but even more of us are doing our shopping via our mobile phones than ever before. One in six of those surveyed online shoppers said a mobile device was their chosen method of ordering.
The driving force behind mobile shopping has been the outstanding success of downloadable applications. Shopping apps are the quick and simple way to access all of a retailer’s products and offers without the need to attend a physical store, and the simple click-and-ship ordering systems widely employed by these apps make it simple to shop on the move. Additionally, voucher apps collate offers and cashback apps reward buyers for shopping through them, so mobile retail is more appealing than ever if you are a keen bargain hunter. If online is cheaper and simpler, it is easy to see why customers are moving in this direction when it comes to their Christmas shopping.
Top shopping apps for mobiles and tablets
Download some of the following applications to your phone and get started with mobile shopping today. many of these services offer express shipping right up until Christmas Eve, so there is still time to make that last-minute gift order for someone special.
The Amazon application provides all the same functionality as the full website, with simple category navigation and product search features. You can build wishlists of products and they can be shared with others, making it perfect for dropping hints to a partner or parent. You can also delete your search history to prevent anyone snooping and spoiling your surprises! The biggest online marketplace with thousands of deals on electronics, clothing, cars and more, you can pick up just about anything through Amazon’s retail app. With Amazon Prime, you can even have it shipped out to you the very same day.
The world’s best-known auction site, eBay is home to a huge range of used and new goods which can be picked up for pennies if you find the right sale. You can find unusual and rare items which will make perfect gifts, or look for deals from outlets on electronics if you want to cut the cost of an expensive present. eBay can be downloaded to phones, where you can watch products, bid in auctions and place orders through the ‘Buy It Now’ feature. You can also make use of the built in barcode scanner while out on the high street; it matches items in shops to lower prices online.
Looking for handcrafted, unique treats for the festive season? Etsy in the place to browse for vintage clothing, artwork, food items and other artisan gifts. The app itself is a delight to use, mixing Pinterest-style boards and images with an easy-order interface. Browse categories on your phone, select items you like and order in minutes through the click-and-ship function. Etsy may not sell the most high-tech products, but it certainly embraces technology when it comes to the customer experience.
Other ways to bring shopping to your mobile
As well as ordering direct, there are a whole host of applications designed to make the gift-buying process a little easier. PayPal’s app allows swift payment to any vendor, allowing you to make discreet buys while shopping with a loved one. There are a host of price comparison apps which track the most desirable gifts and toys, and show you where to buy them from if you want the best price. You can also make use of many stores’ clock and collect service, which allows you to order online and collect from the store at your leisure – great when you don’t want to spend hours trawling round the town centre. However you choose to do your shopping this year, get your phone involved and make the whole process much less stressful. Make the most of the free apps in your Apple iOS or Google Play store today.