The holidays are wonderful, but holiday shopping can be stressful. Finding the right gifts for the best price, sticking to your budget, and keeping track of what you’ve bought for each person on your list isn’t easy! So if you’re not quite as organized as Ol’ Saint Nick—or your team of elves have gone on strike—check out our list of the best holiday shopping apps and browser extensions of 2020.
Before you start stopping, check out our posts Tips for Safe Online Shopping During The Holidays and Chrome Extensions To Make Your Web Browsing Better to learn how to avoid online shopping scams.
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Find The Perfect Present
We all dream of finding unique gifts that will delight our loved ones. However, thinking up gift ideas can be challenging, especially when your gift-giving list is long. So here are some shopping apps to help you generate gift ideas.
- Pinterest: One of the fastest-growing social media platforms of 2020, Pinterest is popular because it connects people with more of what interests them. As you pin items in your account, the platform will suggest more items like those you saved, helping you discover others who share those interests, as well as the collections of pins they have built.
However, many casual users may not be aware of Pinterest’s “buyable pins.” These pins allow users to buy a product from the pin without having to leave the Pinterest website. This is a great feature for Christmas shopping. Simply create a board for each person on your list and add things you know they like. Then Pinterest will build a profile for each board, suggesting things that will make great gifts for each person on your list! Pinterest is available on Android and iOS for free.
- Gilt: If you’re looking for luxury brand products, Gilt is the place to go. The free app (available on Android and iOS) not only helps users find deals on home décor, fashion, and travel, but it also offers mobile-exclusive discounts. And if a product you’re looking for is out of stock, you can save it to your waitlist. When the item becomes available, the app will notify you so you can be the first to snag it.
- Facebook Marketplace: For fans of yard sales or those who love antiquing, Facebook Marketplace is a great place to shop. You’ll find hundreds of items sold by people in your own neighborhood, and many of these items come at a great price. Some of the items are used, but you can also find new products, handmade goods, antiques, and great vintage pieces that definitely stand out. One really nice feature of Marketplace is that once you search for something, Facebook will suggest similar products as they become available. You can access Facebook Marketplace from your browser or through the Facebook app on your Android or Apple device.
- Micro Center: Electronics have become one of the most popular categories of gifts, but they can also be the most expensive gifts on your list. That’s where Micro Center comes in. Their website has great deals on refurbished and open-box products, as well as a whole section for clearance items. Their website gives you access to stock from all of their retail locations, so you have a good chance of finding what you’re
looking for. Sadly, Micro Center doesn’t offer a mobile app, but the deals on their site were too good not to make our list.
- Newegg: If you’ve already heard of Newegg, that’s not so surprising. It’s one of the largest online electronics retailers and offers some of the best deals you can find anywhere. The website is super user-friendly, and like Micro Center, they offer clearance, open-box, and re-certified items. Another great feature is their active user base that leaves reviews on products. You can shop Newegg from their Android or iOS apps.
Save Money With Deals, Coupons, And Rebates
Most people love giving gifts, and many people enjoy searching for just the right one. But bringing joy to others can bring pain to your wallet. If you’re looking for ways to save a little this holiday season, check out the shopping apps below.
- Rakuten: Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten is pretty simple. Create an account and search the website for the product you want. Rakuten will return links to the best deals from top retailers. Follow the link, make your purchase, and earn Cash Back from Rakuten. Why would Rakuten give you cash back? Because retailers pay Rakuten to send shoppers their way. You can install the Rakuten extension with a few simple clicks or use the Android or iOS app.
- Honey: Coupons are a hassle. Who wants to search flyers, clip, and keep track of all that, and how do you even know the coupon you find offers the best deal? Honey automates this process by instantly applying the best coupons, alerting you to better deals, and showing how a product’s price changes over time. You can even add products to your wishlist and receive alerts for the best time to buy. Making purchases can also earn you Honey Gold to redeem for gift cards and items. Take the work out of saving by installing the Honey browser extension or installing the Android or Apple app.
- Pricescout: Like Honey, Pricescout searches the web for the best coupons and lowest prices on items or services you’re shopping for. It automatically applies the coupons it finds. Best of all, it can link you to trustworthy product reviews or videos so you can get more information before you commit to a purchase. This is a great feature for online shopping! You can install the PriceScout browser extension here.
- The Camelizer: Honey’s biggest competitor is The Camelizer. Like Honey, this browser extension shows an item’s price fluctuations over time. You can add items to a watch list and receive alerts when they drop. Those who do their Christmas shopping throughout the year (or at least a few months early) will benefit the most from this extension, and it’s great for those who don’t want the extra bells and whistles (and persona data tracking) that come with Honey. You can install the extension here.
Track Purchases And Manage Your Budget
It’s important to keep track of your holiday purchases, but it’s easy to get confused in the hustle and bustle of the season. That’s why gift tracking apps are becoming increasingly popular. Here’s a list of some of the best free gift tracking apps so you can stay organized as you shop.
- Santa’s Bag: Use this app to create a list of what your friends and family want, and even include links and favorite stores where you can purchase each item. Build profiles of each gift recipient, including preferences and notes for each person. Check off presents as you find them and keep track of what you’ve spent, how many gifts you’ve purchased, and which gifts have been wrapped. You can even share your lists with a partner or grandparents so no one ends up buying the same thing twice. Santa’s Bag is free and available only on iOS.
- Christmas Gift List: Android users can turn to Christmas Gift List for the same features offered by Santa’s Bag. Add people to your Christmas (or other holiday) gift list, add items for each person, and even set a spending amount per person so you stay on budget. Mark off gifts as you buy them or wrap them, and use pictures to keep track of gifts once they’re wrapped. Best of all, on January 1st, the app will archive your gift list so you can remember what you bought this year, and the people on your list will rollover and populate your shopping list for next year! Find it for free on Android here.
Do Good For Others With Your Holiday Spending
The holiday season is a great time to practice gratitude for what we have, as well as to remember our connection to others who may not be as fortunate. If rampant consumerism is getting you down, consider using these shopping apps and extensions that can make your holiday spending do good for others.
- Ecocart: Shopping online is easy and can save you money, but it’s also a huge contributor to climate change. However, Ecocart is changing that. Simply install the extension, shop at one of over 10,000 stores, and the extension will calculate and eliminate your shopping’s carbon footprint by donating to verified carbon offsetting projects—all at no cost to you. Your purchases can also earn Eco points that can be used to purchase Amazon gifts cards, or you can redeem them to help plant trees or build wind farms. You can find the browser extension here.
- Tab for a Cause: This extension has to be one of the easiest ways ever to donate to charity. Install the extension, open a browser tab, and you’ve earned a fraction of a cent to give to charity. How? Each new tab you open will feature an ad. Advertisers pay to have their ads featured in these tabs, and the money earned from the ads is then donated. You can choose to support hundreds of different causes ranging from protecting the environment to supporting emergency relief or education efforts. A fraction of a cent may not feel like you’re doing much, but as of March 2020, Tab for a Cause had earned more than $800,000. You can join the cause here.
- SmileAlways: Amazon Smile is a sister site to Amazon. It offers all of the same items for the same price, but when you purchase from Amazon Smile, Amazon’s foundation will donate 0.5% of your purchase to charity. You can select from thousands of popular charities ranging from the American Red Cross to your neighborhood schools or local homeless shelter. Simply head to smile.amazon.com and make your purchase like you usually would.
The only downside to Amazon Smile is that it’s super easy to forget to head there instead of regular Amazon. And if you’re clicking on an ad or a link in an article like this, it’s going to default to regular Amazon and you’ll have to remember to go to AmazonSmile instead. But with the AlwaysSmile browser extension, your browser will automatically redirect you to AmazonSmile so that every purchase donates to charity. Install the extension here and make a difference.
Simplify Your Holiday Shopping With Just A Few Clicks
You don’t have to let holiday shopping take the fun out of the season. With a few simple clicks you can find great gifts at great prices, and maybe even give back a little. Use the best shopping apps and extensions of 2020 to reclaim your time and joy!
If you’re looking to reclaim some time at work as well, consider TracSoft’s app development services. We specialize in custom business software that automates processes, stores information more efficiently, or integrates information between programs to save you time and money. Share your needs and we’ll tailor a solution for you. Contact TracSoft and find out how we can make your workday run smoothly.