The Best Android Shopping Apps – July 2018

It’s silly to underestimate how smartphones have changed the way we live our lives. From how we consume and create media, to how we communicate with our friends, it seems like the past decade has revolutionized the world over. Among the changes, one of the largest might be how we shop. The decline of the popularity of malls throughout America seems tied directly to the rise of online shopping, and with smartphones, buyers now have the option to browse in-store, to compare prices immediately, and to shop elsewhere to save a buck. Truly, the 21st century has seen not just a revolution in shopping, but a renaissance. There’s never been a better time to be on the lookout for a deal than right now.

Of course, not every shopping app is the same, and with each offering something a bit different, you might want to download a few to keep on your phone or tablet at all times. From big-box apps that show you maps of their stores to auction sites for picking up products on the cheap, there’s plenty of selection in shopping apps. So take a break, and go “shop” over at Google Play to pick up a few of our highlights below.

Everyone else

Just like eBay, Groupon is a bit of a different beast than anything else on this list. The app offers deals based on where you live, allowing you to select from offers for local businesses, restaurants, and tourist traps to save up to 70 percent on a product or service. The app is well designed for phones, although I found the tablet interface to be lacking. You can slide through menus to view different categories, though I imagine most users of Groupon will be wanting to check out the “nearby” section for their deals. At the time of writing, my nearby deals included 60 percent off fitness training classes, 70 percent off hairstyle packages at a local salon, and some deals on country club memberships. Obviously, the quality of your deals is really going to depend on where you live. People in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, or any other major metropolitan area are going to have far more to choose from than those in the midwest or deep south. Still, between the local deals and the national deals on goods and products, you’re bound to find something worth using here.

I consider myself a proponent of online shopping, but sometimes, whether you need an item right away or you happen to be in the area, you can’t beat the convenience of heading to a mega-chain like Walmart. Surprisingly, Walmart doesn’t just have a great shopping app—they have some awesome features built-in that you can really only get from a store with as many physical locations as Walmart. You can order products online to pick up in the store same day (I did this with a television once, and it was maybe the most convenient experience I ever had shopping), browse deals at your local store, and even look up items in your own physical Walmart. For example, once, while trying to get the ingredients for a recipe I’d never cooked before, I had to pick up a can of coconut milk, which I couldn’t for the life of me find on my own. I pulled out my phone, searched Walmart for coconut milk, and the application displayed which aisle I’d find the product in. There’s some additional features here, including a really easy-to-use photo service for printing and picking up prints of your best shots, and the ability to pay for products using Walmart’s own mobile payment system with your phone while in-store. You can even view your receipts and gift card currencies through the Walmart app, making it a really convenient one-size-fits-all for mobile phones. If you do any of your shopping at Walmart on even a semi-regular basis, I’d recommend keeping the app on your phone, just for those moments you can’t find a product you know is in the store.

Wish is a weird little app, and while I don’t recommend using it for everyday shopping, it can be fun if you have some cash to throw away on weird little knick-knacks shipped over from China. Wish offers a huge catalog of clothes, electronics, and accessories for pennies on the dollar—sometimes even free—with the catch that shipping costs are much higher than your standard couple bucks. The products are made and ship from China, and are typically knock-offs of actual products. Leather jackets can cost under $10, wireless charging pads reduced to under $10, and ties are given away for literally nothing, just so long as you pay your shipping costs. I’ve received a couple products from Wish, and overall I found the quality to be on par with the price, so you shouldn’t expect anything too amazing when you’re purchase from Wish. Those free ties, for example, are made from cheap cloth and don’t hold up to everyday wear and tear. If you are unafraid of paying for products that might be of bad quality, Wish can be a ton of fun to use and browse. You never know what you’re going to find up for sale on their service. Just stay away from any Playstation Vita clones that show a Street Fighter V screenshot. Come on Wish, who do you think you’re fooling?

No list of the best apps for shopping would be complete without RetailMeNot, the famous couponing service that promises to offer coupons, codes, and limited time deals for your favorite stores and shops. RetailMeNot offers plenty of options from notable chains, including Macy’s, Payless, Ikea, and Charlotte Russe, with several of these being exclusive to RetailMeNot users. Of course, the app also services as a hub for all sorts of deals in your area, including restaurants and malls. For example, selecting my local mall gives me a mapped layout of every store, and tapping on the names of each store (The Body Shop, Best Buy, etc.) gives me the in-store offers available to me at the time of viewing, as well as when each sale expires or ends. You can add each sale to your virtual wallet, allowing you to get alerts on expiring deals and easily access the coupons once you’re cashing out in the store. RetailMeNot really represents a great app for those of us who still like shopping in person and in a physical store. Though there are plenty of us that have moved on to the likes of Amazon and eBay, there’s no denying that the instant gratification of shopping at a mall can’t be beat, and apps like RetailMeNot can really help around big shopping times like holidays or summer sales. If you, like myself, prefer shopping from the comfort of your own house, don’t fret: RetailMeNot also offers a wide variety of online coupons and codes, so there’s something here for you too.

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