From 1950 to 2010, the average American shopping experience didn’t change all that much. Grocery stores have always had aisles and always had cooler sections for frozen foods. They have always had large parking lots out front for cars. Shoppers have always found recipes at home or took cookbooks into the store, they have always made lists, and they have always compared prices manually.
Now there is a shopping revolution occurring. The revolution is subtle; it isn’t in the aisles, or in the parking lots, or in shoppers’ homes. In fact, the shopping revolution is in the shoppers’ hands.
The rise of smartphones has completely changed the dynamics of the shopping experience. Shoppers no longer need to spend time leafing through a cookbook to find a recipe and writing down a list that will invariably get lost or forgotten in the car. Now, all shoppers have to do is open an app or three and they have all of the information they need.
Here are five apps a shopper needs if they want to maximize their shopping speed and efficiency:
RedLaser is a very useful scanner app. Not only does it have a scanning function for four different types of barcodes, it is also a QR reader. On top of that, whenever a shopper scans an item with RedLaser, the app searches the web to compare prices. It also has the ability to store information about the user’s favorite products so the user can access up to date prices quickly. RedLaser is free, and available for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone.
No matter the establishment, Yelp provides an assortment of detailed, consumer-written reviews with the press of a button. It is one of the most popular review sites, and the app demonstrates why with its easy to use interface. As with RedLaser, Yelp is free and available for each of the three major smartphone operating systems.
Epicurious is the Swiss Army Knife of recipe apps. It allows shoppers to find previously tested recipes online, save them, and share them on social media sites. Shoppers can convert the recipes to grocery lists, or even print them using an app for HP Printers. Epicurious is available for Android, iPhone, and Windows, as well as select tablets and e-readers, and is free. However, for a one-time fee, users gain the ability to share their saved and “favorited” recipes with all of their devices.
Foodswitch allows shoppers to scan the barcode of a food they are thinking about buying and obtain healthier or more diet-appropriate alternatives. Users of the app can select from the Classic option, which is more general, or specifically attempt to reduce their salt or gluten intakes. Free for Android and iPhone.
Shopular is an app that registers a shopper’s location and finds coupons and deals offered by the store they are currently in. When the app user enters a store, Shopular uses their phone’s location settings to register that and immediately searches for promotions and discounts. Free for Android and iPhone.
All five of these apps are extremely useful for any shopper, and are sure to make shopping easier, faster, and less expensive. Download them for free and try them out.