10 Retail Store Apps to Help Save Time and Money

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Photo credit: Illya Levashov/shutterstock

Are you feeling rushed to finish up your holiday shopping? Overcrowded aisles and hard-to-find sales help no doubt add to the anxiety. This is a moment when store-specific shopping apps can come to your rescue.

Retail apps, such as ShopSavvy and Barcode Scanner, that cover a wide range of stores are useful for making sure you're getting the best price. (Make sure to read our top ten shopping apps review.) Stores apps from retailers such as Best Buy and Target are helpful when you're in a particular store and need to find product specs, product location, and prices on the spot. Many stores apps feature maps to guide you to specific products, display information you need to compare items, and showcase weekly ads and deals.

But this is just a sampling of what stores apps can do for you, so read on to learn more. The list below is ordered based on user reviews, starting with the best.

No 1: Amazon Mobile

Scan barcodes, take a photo, or enter keywords to search Amazon's database of products for price comparisons, product reviews, and availability. This top shopping app also gives users access to Amazon's Gold Bow Offers of the Day and Lightning Deals.

Pros and Cons: The Amazon shopping app gets mixed reviews from Amazon users who gripe about compatibility issues and limited sorting tools. Those who like it find it easy to use the app and compare prices on the fly. Reviewers posting on Android Market report that the app is fast and meshes well with personal Amazon accounts, while iPhone users posting on iTunes say the shopping app is super fast but doesn't always show images.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry

No. 2: Best Buy

Browse, purchase, compare technical specs, create a technology wish list, read product reviews, track in-store availability, track your rewards in the Rewards Zone, and view weekly deals and special offers with the Best Buy app.

Pros and Cons: Users rating Android shopping apps on Android Market report that this shopping app is a useful tool for researching products while you're in the store rather than spending hours at home on the computer. Some users report that the store app freezes up occasionally.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android

No. 3: Target

Receive daily deals, use TargetLists to keep track of shopping lists, make purchases directly through the Target app, and use the barcode scanner for price checks, availability, and adding to your lists.

Pros and Cons: Users posting reviews of iPhone shopping apps on iTunes mostly rave about this shopping app, saying it's easy to use and the daily deals are awesome. One reviewer warns that the barcode brings up prices only for online items, not in-store items.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android

No. 4: Lowe's

Scan QR codes specifically for smartphones, rather than regular barcodes, to reveal product details and reviews, and also to purchase items online. This shopping app additionally helps you find the closest Lowe's store and shows DIY videos.

Pros and Cons: Users reviewing iPhone shopping apps on iTunes say the app is functional and easy to use and makes purchasing a breeze.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone

No. 5: eBay

Buy and sell on eBay from your smartphone. The app for eBay notifies you if an auction you're participating in is ending, if you've been outbid, and more. Manage your sale items, too.

Pros and Cons: Users posting shopping app reviews on iTunes say this store app is super fast, although you could wind up accidentally making a purchase because the "Buy it Now" button is really easy to hit. Android users posting on Android Market are disappointed with the most recent update, and report problems logging in and not seeing the number of views per item.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

No. 6: Walmart

Check Walmart prices and product availability, view "Rollback" prices and local ads, find the nearest Walmart store, and manage your photo printing needs and prescription refills through the Walmart app. With the iPhone version, speak your shopping list, see coupons for the items on your list from Coupons.com, and view a real-time shopping list total. Plus, find items quickly in your local store with an in-store locator tool.

Pros and Cons: TechCrunch praises the Walmart app for iPhone, saying the new version has many improvements and helpful features, such as the shopping list tool and in-store locator.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android

No. 7: Home Depot

Check out products in-store and online, purchase items, find a store, find local pricing and availability, create a shopping list, view DIY videos, and see in-store maps through the Home Depot shopping app.

Pros and Cons: Despite some complaints about the GPS/store locator not working well, some users report great success with this shopping app: On iTunes one user says he received a push notification from the store app with a $10-off coupon code if he purchased through the app.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android

No. 8: Kmart

Search for and buy products through this shopping app. With the iPhone version, locate a store, locate specific items in the store, and view the weekly advertisement.

Pros and Cons: The Kmart app is huge disappointment to those reviewing Android shopping apps on Android Market; they complain that the shopping app needs permission to access your entire phone, including your personal contact list, and a simple keyword search for products delivers bogus results.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry

No. 9: JC Penney

Browse the weekly JC Penney ad, see special deals, get coupons, find a store near you, and create a favorites list through this simple shopping app.

Pros and Cons: The Android shopping app version might get better reviews on Android Market if anyone could actually get the store app to work or let them sign in. Those posting reviews on iTunes can view the catalog but complain that you can't actually make a purchase and add that the app often doesn't work properly.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android

No. 10: Sears

Look for and buy products through this shopping app. In the iPhone version, use the in-store map to find departments and stores near you (including contact information and store hours) and to view the local weekly ad.

Pros and Cons: This shopping app gets low marks on Android Market, where users say the app is useless because it rarely works; specifically, it fails to show current ads and it doesn't find nearby stores.

Cost: Free

Availability: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry

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AppiTunes RatingNumber of ReviewsAndroid RatingNumber of Reviews

1

Amazon Mobile

4 (current version), 3.5 (all versions)

395 (current version), 90,384 (all versions)

4.5

27,677

2

Best Buy

3 (current version), 3.5 (all versions)

155 (current version), 47,961 (all versions)

4.3

30,735

3

Target

4.5 (current version), 3 (all versions)

442 (current version), 93,500 (all versions)

3.9

4,658

4

Lowe's

4.5 (all versions)

237 (all versions)

N/A

N/A

5

EBay

2 (current version), 4 (all versions)

481 (current version), 16,399 (all versions)

4.2

91,847

6

Walmart

2.5 (current version), 2.5 (all versions)

30 (current version), 44,512 (all versions)

4.2

3,262

7

Home Depot

3 (current version), 2.5 (all versions)

9 (current version), 11,055 (all versions)

3.7

1,021

8

Kmart

3 (all versions)

1,776 (all versions)

3.9

684

9

JC Penney

2.5 (current version), 2.5 (all versions)

82 (current version), 3,707 (all versions)

3.4

450

10

Sears

2.5 (all versions)

8,217 (all versions)

3.6

692