Tis the season when we are spending more than the average amount of time shopping, so we've decided it was about time to roundup 5 iPhone store apps that we've tested and found the most useful. Since a good portion of our holiday shopping and non holiday shopping seems to be done at the same 5 retailers we decided to focus on these retailers: IKEA, Overstock.com, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon.
In compiling this list we looked at apps for these 5 popular online shopping destinations that have received good reviews. IKEA made our list because while we do most of our shopping at their big blue brick and mortar store, they also do have an online store. While we looked at both official and unofficial apps while creating our roundup, we did notice the big bonus that the official apps come with, they are generally free!
IKEA: While we are still waiting on an Ikea catalog app, like the one Ikea recently launched for the UK, there are still several options for enhancing your Ikea shopping experience through the use of apps like SwedeShop. SwedeShop from Danilo Campos allows users to store product names, aisle/bin number or section, notes and attach photos in a list format for an easier shopping experience for iPhone users.
Pros- We like the budgeting features and overall concept.
Cons- The app used to be free, but now costs $.99. We wish the information for where the items were located could be auto-populated, this would be a real time saver!
Overstock.com: Overstock.com has recently released their free app which allows users to search, browse, and purchase every item that is available on their traditional website. The app adds a few fun features like the Lott-O daily scratch card which allows users a chance to win additional savings. If you like shopping at Overstock.com and want a mobile way to browse the site, then this is a great app for you.
Pros- Great that everything that you can buy on Overstock.com you can purchase from this app. Lott-O is a fun way to get additional savings. Who doesn't love a scratch card that does not get your nails grimy?
Cons- Home screen does not have the similar "bird's eye" view of the savings happening site wide. Search is not as easy to filter down like it is on the traditional site.
Etsy: As you know, we at Unplggd love Etsy, so of course we were interested to see what iPhone apps were available for browsing Etsy. While Etsy does not have their own app, there are a few apps available that were created to browse Etsy, our favorite of these is Etsy Addict. Etsy Addict, a $.99 app created by Daniel Dickinson gives you a quick and efficient way to access Etsy. Using the app you can navigate your favorite sellers and listings, browse listings by category and also search listings by tag, seller, or description. You can also of course view listing details, including the pictures, price seller, materials, and tags.
Pros- Easy way to search through listings on Etsy. Out of the three currently available apps in the App Store, we liked this one the best, for it's UI, features, and price.
Cons- Because Etsy does not currently does not allow 3rd party applications to access users' private data. Anything requiring you to log in—convos, creating/editing listings, "hearting" sellers and listings—is currently only possible via the built-in web browser.
eBay: eBay's mobile app allows you to easily search, bid, and keep track of auctions on your iPhone. This free app has been receiving great reviews, although they have been mixed in regards to how well bidding works using the app.
Pros - Able to bid and track auctions and your own sales from your iPhone. My eBay makes it easy to see which items you are watching, buying, or selling.
Cons- Mixed feedback from users on how well bidding from the app actually works. There have been several complaints about lost auctions. Could this be just a function of network speed or is the app at fault?
Amazon: Amazon's free mobile app which was recently updated at the end of last month is an easy to use app that makes finding what you are looking for on Amazon even easier. Prior to this app we usually just searched Amazon using Google in Safari or pulled up Amazon's website on our iPhones and this is much easier. The Amazon app also includes a new feature called Amazon Remembers which allows you to use your iPhone's camera to create a visual list of things you want to save for a possible later purchase, these photos are stored in the app and on Amazon's website. If you took a picture of a product, like say, the really neat shoes the person next to you is wearing, Amazon Remembers will try to find an product similar to those that is for sale on the web.
Pros- Easy to use, clean interface, great for updating your Amazon wishlist and Amazon Remembers is kind of neat (although we wish it was more accurate).
Cons- Users have complained that it feels slow after the latest update, and that it lacks the ability to view album track listings.
We hope that you find this roundup useful and wish you the best of luck in getting all of your holiday shopping done. Have we left out your favorite store app?