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Top mobile shopping apps for holiday 2011

This holiday season, brands and marketers are stepping up their mobile application efforts. After skyrocketing mobile sales this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers are starting to understand that mobile shopping apps are crucial to holiday mobile efforts.

Here are several apps chosen by Mobile Commerce Daily that are helping shoppers manage their mobile experience this holiday season.

Amazon is letting Android shoppers compare in-store prices with those on its site via a new Price Check app.

Consumers can use the app to scan a bar code, snap a picture, or say or type a product name to see prices from, as well as its other online merchants. Shoppers can also buy products via 1-Click and have it delivered directly to their home.

In addition, Amazon rewarded users with up to a 5 percent discount for using the app on Dec. 10.

“Price Check is a great way for customers to ensure they’re getting a good price on the items they’re buying,” said Sally Fouts, a spokeswoman for, Seattle.

“Price Check in-store deals are a one-day incentive to encourage shoppers to make sure they’re getting a good deal when they shop,” she said.

“We want to make it as easy and convenient for customers to find the information they’re looking for, whether it’s price, product details or customer reviews.”

With the app, users can choose to buy products online or search through local store’s inventory for items. This is Sam’s Club’s first foray into the tablet space with the company already using smartphone apps and mobile coupons.

The Sam’s Club iPad app lets users enter their membership information to shop from the company’s mobile site or by using GPS to find the closest Sam’s Club store.

Holiday shoppers can also view seasonal recipes and a digital entertainment guide. The app has a section that shows users a daily value item leading up to the holiday.

Shoppers can also sign up for the company’s daily email program, find store holiday hours and view holiday decorating tips, including how to decorate a Christmas tree and how to wrap a present.

“At Sam’s Club, we look at the iPad user differently than a smartphone user, and we know that our members use tablets during their me time,” said Matt Martin, senior manager of mobile strategy at Sam’s Club, Bentonville, AR.

“The goal of the iPad app is to drive both in-Club and online engagement,” he said.
“While it’s a commerce-friendly tool, the iPad app is also a planning device making it easy to maneuver a visit to a local Sam’s Club.”

The iPad app carries the same product selection that is available on the company’s Web site. The app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store.

The app lets consumers share deals they find with their friends through Facebook and Twitter. Users can filter their search results by different categories such as top sellers, price and new arrivals.

The app also includes a daily Lott-O game that lets consumers vie for a chance to win exclusive discounts towards their purchases.

“So many consumers are shopping through their iPad’s because it is easy and convenient,” said Sam Peterson, senior vice president of marketing at, Salt Lake City, UT.

“One great feature of the app is that it allows customers to easily share great deals they find with their friends through Facebook and Twitter,” he said.

“We have seen a significant amount of traffic coming through the iPad, so it made sense to develop an app dedicated to the iPad customer.”

Lands’ End is using mobile marketing initiatives in conjunction with other marketing channels, including Web, in-store, email and social. The retailer is also partnering with for digital charity donations.

Using the Land’s End app, users can browse the retailer’s current catalog.

Consumers can swipe through pages and flip them to buy products directly from the Lands’ End Web site, which is embedded into the app. Consumers are then log into their Lands’ End account or sign in as a guest to finish the transaction.

“We have seen an increase in customers visiting our mobile commerce site from their smartphones, as well as the full Lands’ End site from their tablet devices,” said Michele Casper, director of public relations at Lands’ End, Dodgeville, WI.

“Most notably, we have seen an exciting response in customers visiting our sites through their iPad,” she said.

“Whether they’re checking store hours, reading product reviews, or completing a purchase, we know our mobile commerce site will serve as a valuable resource for our customers during the 2011 holiday season.”

Additionally, the Hy-Vee app includes weekly deals, geo-location and commerce-enabled features. Hy-Vee worked with mobile search service aisle411 on this initiative.

The app uses GPS to find the closest Hy-Vee location for users. Users can then view driving directions, hours and call specific stores via the app.

The app also uses voice recognition to let users say what they are looking to find. The apps then track down the aisle for each item and lets users add it to a shopping list.

“We like to connect with our consumers in ways that are most useful to them,” said Ruth Comer, assistant vice president of media relations at Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, IA.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York