7 Must-Have E-commerce Apps and Tools for Online Shoppers this Holiday Season

E-commerce Apps and Tools for Online Shoppers

There are certain essential e-commerce apps and tools every online shopper must have this holiday season, in order to get the most bang for their buck.

In 2019, US retailers employed 562, 000 hands to help them cope with holiday sales volumes, with November and December accounting for around 19% of total annual retail sales since 2014.

For instance, during its 2019 Singles Day sales, AliBaba made a whopping $38 billion in the 24-hour shopping extravaganza. And although COVID-19 has disrupted socio-economic activities, retailers are gearing up for the biggest sales season of the year, as more and more shoppers go online.

With dwindling purchasing power, online shoppers are prioritizing their shopping lists. Reports say in the US, only about 64% of people are as excited about the 2020 holiday shopping season compared to last year, with 75% of them set to shop online.

In this post, I’ll highlight seven (7) essential e-commerce apps and tools to help online shoppers maximize holiday shopping dollars and get the most bang for their buck.

7 Essential Apps and Tools for Savvy Holiday Shoppers

1. Holiday Shopping Calendar

It is easy to lose sight of important dates and events without a calendar or alarm. In fact, most shoppers start preparing for holiday shopping months in advance.

In order to make the most of your holiday shopping dollars, you also need to mark the dates on your calendar, so that you don’t forget them and miss out on the biggest sales season of the year.

Thankfully, there are apps and tools that can help you to mark and save the dates e.g Calendly, Calendar, SetMore, Simply book, etc.

Better yet, you can use a simple e-commerce shopping calendar and highlight key holiday shopping dates like the one below: 

holiday e commerce calendar

2. E-commerce Store App

More than half of all internet traffic originates from mobile devices. Also, over 62% of users have made a purchase with their smartphones in the past six (6) months.

Similarly, 82% of internet users in the US have used a mobile device to shop online. By 2021, mobile commerce sales are expected to go north of $420 billion. These figures come from mobile websites and mobile apps.

This is why several e-commerce stores are launching mobile apps left right and center. Mobile apps are typically 1.5x faster than mobile websites because they store data locally, not on servers. Also, because they use frameworks they’re about 5x faster than mobile sites that use JavaScript.

With in-app and push notifications, you can be alerted about upcoming flash sales and discounts. Ensure that you follow your favorite e-commerce store and download their mobile app for your Android, iOS, or Windows device, so as not to miss out on any deals.

3. Price Comparison Apps

Reports say 87% of online shoppers begin their purchase journey by researching or comparing prices using Google or Amazon. This is because, for the majority of shoppers, price is the most important purchase factor. This is why shopping lists are a must for many shoppers.

Imagine how you’d feel after learning that you could have gotten that “super cheap laptop” 45% cheaper from Store A if you had but looked a little harder. You can avoid such buyer’s remorse by using price comparison apps.

Some of the more popular price comparison apps and sites include:

  • ShopSavvy
  • ShopMania
  • BuyVia
  • PricePirates
  • ScanLife
  • Quick scan
  • Google Shopping
  • Yahoo Shopping
  • BizRate, and many more

These sites can help you to save money and get the most bang for your bucks.

4. Discounts and Coupon Apps

Who doesn’t like a discount? Discounts and coupons make shopping not only fun but also much more affordable. This means you can get more out of each dollar spent.

With a price comparison engine or app, you can get the lowest prices possible. Sometimes, you could also enjoy extra discounts from the stores with the lowest prices. This can further extend your dollar.

During holiday sales, discounts abound and make the rounds often. With dedicated discounts and coupons app, you can be on top of new discounts and sales immediately or long before they go public.

Apps like SnipSnap. Bonjour!, Ibotta, RetailMeNot, Costco, ShopKick, MyGroceryDeals, Coupon Sherpa, Coupon Cabin, and many more, can help you save money this holiday season.

5. Loyalty Program Apps

Whether you call it a loyalty card, reward card, points card, advantage card, or club card, loyalty programs encourage shoppers to be well, loyal to a particular brand. These programs offer perks and incentives to their most loyal customers and is an effective marketing strategy.

These perks could be in the form of discounts or credits towards future purchases. Once the cards were presented, customers could gain access to the benefits of such loyalty programs.

These days QR codes are in vogue and can be collected and stored using several apps available in the Android and iOS app stores. Most of these apps are also free to use.

Examples include:

  • Stocad
  • KeyRing
  • Virtual Cards
  • Klaus Apps
  • Apple Wallet
  • CitiRewards
  • Pocket Loyalty Cards Wallet
  • FLOK
  • Payback
  • Five stars, among others

These can help you save more towards future purchases.

6. Shipping and Order Tracking Apps

After putting so much effort into researching products and prices, discounts, and coupons, it is time to make the purchase. According to Deloitte, 27% of holiday shoppers will be purchasing gifts for others this season.

Perhaps you’re one of those buying gifts for yourself or loved ones this season. If such packages arrive late, the purpose may be defeated. Therefore, it is important to research the best shipping carriers for your order, considering which country or timezones your order is originating from and where you’re sending them to, including the best prices.

Of course, you would want to be able to track your orders and know where exactly they are in real-time. Apps like Parcel Arrive allow you to track your orders in real-time and for free, bringing you certainty and peace of mind.

The ideal shipping carrier and order tracker can help you get your items in time for the holiday season, whether they’re gift items or for personal use.

7. Returns Apps

Sometimes for some reason and under some circumstances, online purchases don’t always meet customer expectations. For this reason, returns are a huge part of e-commerce, moreso during holiday sales.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 55% of Americans said they planned to return unwanted holiday gifts within a month. On January 2, 2020, (National Returns Day, according to UPS) the foremost carrier said it will process up to 1.9 million returns, up from 1 million in 2016.

This year alone, Statista reports that returns in the US could cost retailers a whopping $550 billion, 75.2% more than four years prior.  These returns also create a ton of greenhouse-gas emissions with many of them ending up in landfills contributing to environmental degradation.

Solutions like Narvar help retailers and customers minimize the overwhelming costs and impact of returns by streamlining, simplifying, and fast-tracking the whole process.

Wrapping Up

Holiday shopping is huge both in terms of numbers and scale. Well planned and executed, it can take care of much of your annual non-grocery shopping needs for the incoming year.

These apps, tools, and tips will help you to maximize your holiday shopping dollars and get the most bang for your buck.

Let us know which apps and tools you use most during the holiday shopping season.