Back when going shopping meant hopping in the car and heading to the mall, like it did in high school, we thought it was easy. But nowadays, it's
even easier than that. We've got a ton of shopping options right at our fingertips. We can shop for whatever we want, whenever we want, and it'll end up on our doorstep in a snap.
Whether you prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar stores, or would rather browse from your couch, there are awesome apps you can use to find the best products, keep track of those products, and score the best deals.
We've gathered up 15 apps that make our shopping addiction more fun, more responsible, and just plain better all-around. Take a look at our picks, and share your favorites in the comments.
This article originally ran June 22, 2016.
Photo: Courtesy RetailMeNot.
If you're a 21st century coupon cutter… RetailMeNot (Free on iOS and Android) RetailMeNot aggregates stores' online codes, printable coupons, and sales so you can make sure you're getting the best deal whenever you shop. And if you don't want to waste a tree by printing out a coupon, you can just use your phone to show the store clerk your coupon's barcode. The app includes more than 50,000 retailers. If you're shopping online, download the RetailMeNot Genie browser extension in Chrome. The extension will automatically input the most money saving promo code when you're checking out so you don't need to worry about rifling through codes on your own.
Photo: Courtesy Etsy.
If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind-find… Etsy (Free on iOS and Android) Etsy's desktop site can feel overwhelming with the amount of products and information on there (reviews! blog updates! safety guidelines!), but its app is much easier to navigate. The top toolbar lets you toggle from products recommended for you to editors' picks, as well as a view of your recent activity. Whether you choose to shop jewelry or tops, you're sure to find something that you won't see on five other people when you walk down the street this fall.
Photo: Courtesy Haftahave, Inc.
If you want it, but only when it goes on sale… Hafta Have (Free on iOS) You find the perfect dress, and then you check the price tag — not so perfect. If you've got Champagne taste and a beer budget, you need Hafta Have. This app lets you favorite items that you scout online or in real life (just scan the bar codes), saves them for later, and then notifies you when they go on sale. You can also add a filter so you'll only get alerted when your size is actually on sale. The only negative: The app doesn't work with every store on the planet, but the list is growing.
Photo: Courtesy Musely.
If you want "good for you" buys… Musely (Free on iOS) Musely isn't just a shopping app — it's a hub for learning new things, finding recommendations from others, sharing your expertise, and living more healthily. You can find products in six areas: Baby; Beauty; Health & Fitness; Skin Care; Home; and Food & Drink. You can find and buy new products, and get tips on how to work them into your daily routine.
Photo: Courtesy Spring.
If you feel like going to the mall… Spring (Free on iOS and Android) If you miss the wide variety and serendipitous finds a trip to the mall would guarantee, you need Spring — the mall's digital equivalent. Spring is a beautifully curated marketplace of tons of different brands, from Urban Outfitters to Opening Ceremony. You can browse by brand, by clothing category, or by a specific look (such as "Beach to Bar" or "Backyard BBQ"), and then checkout with your thumbprint thanks to Apple Pay.
Photo: Courtesy Wish.
If you need to find a cheap gift… Wish (Free on iOS and Android) Wish is another virtual shopping mall, but its focus is on selling items at a discount. It's filled with a variety of unique products, mostly made in China. If you're shopping apparel, the app also has filters to narrow your search.
Photo: Courtesy Hintd.
If you just want to window shop… Hintd (Free on the web) Maybe you're not ready to actually buy anything right this second. That's okay. With Hintd, you can create wish lists of all sorts of products you're interested in, and then buy them later on. You can also share your lists publicly so others can browse them — kind of like with Pinterest. You can install Hintd's Chrome extension, too, so you can add items to your wish list wherever you're browsing.
Photo: Courtesy Posy.
If you need a second opinion… Posy (Free on iOS) With Posy, you can get instant style advice, and opinions on looks and trends; and you can share your own favorite buys and looks, too. If you're not sure if the off-the-shoulder blouse you're trying on is working with the shorts you paired it with, take a picture, create a poll, and get a response from the hive mind.
Photo: Courtesy IN/SPREE.
If you want influencers' picks… In/Spree (Free on iOS) The only problem with sourcing looks from Instagram is the hassle of clicking through bios and links to get to the items you want to purchase. In/Spree makes that process much easier. It's basically an Instagram that's just for shopping and style. The app features picks from more than 50 influencers right now, and more are added each week.
Photo: Courtesy BuyVia.
If you want to find savings from major retailers… BuyVia (Free on iOS and Android) BuyVia serves up deals from major retailers such as Nordstrom, H&M, and Sports Authority each and every day. The app includes a barcode scanner, so if you're in-store, you can check and compare a product's price with what's online. It also alerts you when a product's price falls, and includes coupons you can use.
Photo: Courtesy Amazon.
If you've got Amazon Prime… Amazon (Free on iOS and Android) If you don't have this on your phone already, you need to download it, stat. It allows you to (very easily) make impulse buys that will appear on your doorstep in 24 to 48 hours, or less. One-click purchasing is dangerous, but oh-so-convenient.
Photo: Courtesy Slice.
If you want to be there when a package arrives… Slice (Free on iOS and Android) If you make purchases from a variety of different apps and sites, it can get confusing to remember what package is arriving when, and… if that one package ever arrived at all? Keep all your incoming packages in line with Slice. When you link your email, it mines your messages for shipping numbers and tracks them for you. It will even notify you on the status of a package. Plus, the app keeps tabs on price drops on things you've purchased, which can help you get a refund if something you just bought goes on sale.
Photo: Courtesy Stitch Fix.
If you want a personal stylist… Stitch Fix (Free on iOS) Don't want to spend time shopping yourself? Stitch Fix is a helpful solution. After you fill out a quiz about your likes and dislikes, the company's stylists select five pieces that they think you might like and then send them to you. Once you get them, you can choose to keep all, just a couple, or none. Pay for what you buy, send the rest back, and wait for your next shipment.
Photo: Courtesy Earth911.
If you want to dispose of your shipping boxes responsibly… iRecycle (Free on iOS and Android) If you don't have curbside recycling at your abode, that doesn't mean you should just toss your boxes into the trash. Use an app such as iRecycle to find appropriate recycling locations near you. All that shipping generates a lot of waste — the least we can do is give that waste a chance to be reused.
If you want to have others weigh in... Covet Fashion (Free on iOS and Android) Covet turns shopping into a game. Pick one of the styling challenges, choose clothes and accessories from top designers to complete the prompt, and see how many people vote for your look. From there, you can purchase any of the items you picked or choose from ones that others used in their designs.
If you'd rather try it out before buying... Rent The Runway (Free on iOS) When you need a dress (or multiple dresses) for wedding season or holiday parties but don't want to invest in just one, go the rental route. Rent The Runway's app brings the best of the service to your fingertips. "Heart" items to get more personalized recommendations, check out the latest curated trends, and add push notifications so you can track exactly when your dress is arriving.