This post is part of the “Future of Business” series, which examines how cutting-edge technologies are rapidly reshaping our world, from how businesses run to how we live. “The Future of Business” is sponsored by SAP. See more Future of Business »
More than 1 billion people now own smartphones, and that means that mobile commerce is exploding like never before.
We’ve selected 11 apps that have potential to drastically change the way people shop. Some help shoppers scout out the best deals, while others create platforms for buying and selling.
All of the apps have the potential to disrupt the retail industry.
As long as you don't lose your phone, you won't lose your grocery list with Grocery iQ. The app syncs coupons and organizes the list by category for efficient shopping. Users can sync multiple devices to the app, leaving no room to forget items during errand-running.
PoachIt founder Gidi Fisher created the app to resolve what he described as a broken search process -- many of the coupon codes he found no longer worked. The free application also notifies users when items they search for online go on sale.
Shopkick users are part of a rewards program in which they rack up points called 'kicks' by visiting participating locations. Credit cards can also be linked to the app to rack up more 'kicks' that can be redeemed toward items ranging from a latte to a new designer purse.
Users can list and purchase apparel with Poshmark from anywhere with a mobile device. There are photo filters built into the application to help make items look professional. Shipping items is easy: the company provides pre-paid, pre-addressed labels for sending items and holds payments until customers receive merchandise.
Decide compiles information like price points, reviews, articles, and similar products and assigns 'score' rankings. With the app, shoppers can make sense of all the products available on the Internet and be happier with their purchases. It also tells users when prices are likely to go down.
Smoopa uses a bar code scanner that compares product prices for users. Shoppers enter the price of an item, and the location of the store. Occasionally, they are rewarded through bonus credits that are redeemed in cash, gift cards, or donations to charity.
Rue La La is a members-only site that buys high-end retail overstock and sells it for a reduced prices. The app capitalises on the time-sensitive nature of flash sales by notifying members when items they want to watch go on sale. It also notifies them of upcoming sales.
Shopular displays coupons right on users' mobile devices. Retail brands have coupons on the application including Gap, Old Navy, Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria's Secret, Forever 21, Bath & Body Works, Express, Wet Seal, Hollister and others.
Red Laser lets users scan loyalty cards for each store and keep them on their phone for easy access. You can also scan items at the store and find other places where they're available.
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