Frugal shoppers know it’s all about finding the best price. Traditionally, online retailers have provided the greatest discounts to consumers, thanks, in part, to having less overhead and avoiding sales taxes. But brick-and-mortar stores are fighting back, using the power of apps to woo people back to their aisles. In fact, nearly 80 percent of mobile shoppers are already using an application to find a store, and 63 percent are using apps to check prices online while shopping, according to Nielsen.
In addition to applications for specific stores, there is an arsenal of free apps at consumers’ disposal to help them quickly and easily find the best product for the best price. From helping shoppers take advantage of price-match guarantees to offering digital coupons and rewards, apps are a budget shopper’s best friend. Here are seven app-based strategies that can save you money at your favorite stores.
The Amazon Mobile app is perfect for “showroomers” — people who use physical stores as showrooms to test new products before ordering them cheaper from online retailers. The app lets you scan or snap a photo of the item you’re looking to buy, and checks the price of that item on Amazon for easy comparison. But you need not go online to get the best price anymore.
Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy now offer price matching. So if you find a cheaper price on Amazon through the Web retailer’s app, these big-box stores will match Amazon’s price and let you walk out of the door paying what you would have on Amazon.
Navigating the Amazon app is simple enough; a search bar lines the top, along with all the price-matching functions. Within the search bar sits a bar-code button that launches directly into the bar-code scanner. Once you’ve found the item you need cheaper on Amazon, show your phone to the cashier and ask him or her match the price. However, be careful you’re not trying to price match to a third-party vendor; it must be an Amazon deal to be effective at Target.