There is a new trend sweeping the country as smartphone sales increase across Oz. Savvy shoppers are honing their deal hunting skills, with the help of their smartphone partners in crime. The latest trend in Oz is to use a mobile whilst shopping to cross-reference with prices elsewhere. It is now known that 72% of shoppers use their smartphones whilst shopping, according to The Westpac Christmas Finance report.
Each savvy saver has their own style, some use apps, some use websites and others use their research to get a price-match from retailers. Whatever your style, this trend is growing and by using some of the following tools you can also harness the bargain-hunting potential residing within your mobile.
Christmas is one of the most expensive months of the year for any household, so if there is any month to get on top of your finances, this is the one. Tom Godfrey, a spokesman for the large consumer watchdog 'Choice' told reporters “Its really important to price check before your purchase if you want to get the best deal.”
He went on to suggest, one tip could be to ask retailers if they will ‘price match’ against prices that competitors have for the same products. Usually they will match the price, but a small number of them will sometimes beat the price out of goodwill or, as is the case with Officeworks, due to their policies.
Frost and Sullivan conducted a report that gave some insight into why this mobile searching trend is growing. Its report showed that the researched retailers had an inability to keep up with technology within the mobile shopping sector, which as a result gave us some interesting statistics. It states that 65% of the population now own a smartphone, with 52% of those owners using that mobile for shopping or to assist with price research. In line with the report, Frost and Sullivan Australia and New Zealand managing director Mark Dougan said; “The ability to access the Internet whilst on the move has transformed many aspects of consumer behaviour. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones for shopping to research, compare, share purchase and pay for merchandise.”
So, I became interested in some of the apps that shoppers were using to save money. The information I came across showed that there are only a few apps which are gaining recognition within the marketplace for saving their users hundreds of dollars. They are as follows:
RedLaser – Shopping
This app is effectively a barcode scanner that lets you scan a barcode and compare the prices of that product with online retailers. Available on Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.
Lasoo – Online Shopping
Lasoo makes online shopping smarter and quicker for its users by allowing you to search and compare prices across hundreds brands, products and catalogues. Its available on Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.
GetPrice – Online Shopping
This app is a comparison app based in Australia that helps users find the best possible price for whatever item they are shopping for. The user also has access to nearby store finders and product reviews. This app is available on Android and iPhone.
Pocketbook – Over Spending
A slightly different app for helping you spend more thriftly. Pocketbook syncs with your Australian bank account and tracks your spending. It will then alert you if you exceed your set budget, notify you if a bill is late and keep you up to date on fees that you are being charged. It is available on Android and iPhone.
Menulog – Takeaway Food
This app is not directly related to shopping, but the concept still relates to saving money and comparing products and services. Menulog shows different takeaway options and lets you know the delivery costs upfront.
Here's a quick practical example of how using these tools can save you money in-store. Right now I see that the Samsung Galaxy Trend smartphone at Officeworks is priced at $159. Opening the Get Price app I have installed on my phone, it literally takes me seconds to do a search on this device and see that it's actually priced at $30 cheaper with Dick Smith. Had I been in-store, I could have simply walked up to a member of staff, showed them the price on Dick Smith's website and asked them to apply their 'Lowest Price Guarantee' policy. This would knock a further 5% off what Dick Smith were asking for the phone (including shipping), meaning I'd end up only paying $122.25. In the end, by spending a very short amount of time running a quick price check on my phone, I would have saved myself over $36.
The apps above are all designed to operate within Australia and no doubt will also have hundreds of other companies copying them. So, if you use any of these apps, or know of any apps which operate within a similar manner, please let us know. We'd be interested in any others that you could recommend which have saved you money whilst shopping.