Smartphones are becoming an ever-larger weapon in the Black Friday shopper’s arsenal.
According to the annual Deloitte Holiday Survey of spending and trends, 27 percent of smartphone owners plan to use their devices to search for store locations, compare prices and check product availability. But how to choose the right apps from the thousands of options?
Wired Wisconsin is the Wisconsin-based project of Midwest Consumers for Choice and Competition, a non-profit organization of individual consumers interested in technology, broadband, and telecommunication issues. Members dug in and tested some of the smartphone applications that might apply to shoppers trying to snag the best deals, or just make the most of their consumerist experience.
RELATED: See Sara Conrad’s comprehensive Black Friday guide for shoppers in southeast Milwaukee.
Different criteria went into choosing the best apps, said Jason Rae, associate director for Wired Wisconsin, but he said testers asked themselves, “What would be the most effective and efficient use of someone’s time as they head out shopping?”
They narrowed their choices to their three favorites, all of which are free:
BFAds (iPhone and Android): This app tracks the retail flIers and allows you to type in a specific item to compare prices and availability. Items can be searched individually or by category, and you can create a shopping list off of the best prices.
Bakodo (iPhone and iPod): Use this app to scan the bar code of any item in a store to find the retailer that has the item for the lowest price or within your geographic area.
Lemon – Receipts Refreshed (iPhone, iPod, Android, Blackberry and Windows): Those who want to track their expenditures and stay within a budget will appreciate this app. It allows you to take a picture of your receipt, which is turned into digitized data.