the must have mobile shopping apps

Mobile Shopping Apps: Why You Must Have One to up Your Shopping Game

“I coulda been a contender.” Brando may have made that line famous, but I prefer a sentiment closer to “I am always a contender!” I can turn just about anything into a personal challenge, even trying to beat my personal record for Instagram likes. Shopping for my family is no different.

A couple weeks ago, I found an absolute steal on trendy accessories at Target. I even pointed out the savings to the cashier who agreed I had hit the savvy shopper jackpot—it was a nice little bonding moment. Hey, I can’t possibly be the only one on a first name basis with my local Target associates!

the must have mobile shopping apps
Swap your outdated loyalty cards for an all-in-one app always at your fingertips | Image courtesy Pixabay user RawPixel

For me, experiences like that make shopping more fun—and let me modernize my wardrobe guilt free. I’ve gone to what some might consider extreme lengths to keep my savings on point and my deal record strong. I wake up at 2 a.m. for Black Friday every year. Every. Year. I’ve hidden dresses at the back of a rack so I could come the next day when I knew they’d be on sale. And, I’m a pro at finding the nearly unnoticeable flaw on a designer handbag so I can snap it up for half off. But who hasn’t, amiright? If you’re a master shopper, I’m looking at you.

I thought I knew every trick in the book—and then came rewards apps. Let me tell you, one shopping diva to another, there are some unbelievable shopping apps you simply must have if you’re always looking for ways to up your shopping game! Since I downloaded one to my smartphone, I’ve pushed my shopping to a whole new level. I’ve finally discovered smartphone apps that reward me for the type of competitive shopping I’ve done for years. It’s like, finally.  

So, get comfortable while I tell you why I can’t stop raving about these shopping rewards apps. Then, let’s hit the aisles with our smartphones out and start racking up some rewards points together. No coulda or shoulda; it’s easy to get out there and be a shopping rewards contender!

Mobile Shopping Apps: Why You Must Have One to Focus Your Rewards Game

As someone who’s more than a little obsessed with beating my own personal bests at pretty much anything, I can assure you the key to improving your shopping game is focus. And paying attention to mobile shopping rewards apps is step one in getting your focus on point.

The new generation of mobile rewards apps centralize the points you earn from the stores you already visit and the brands you buy time and again, whether it’s an incredible pair of wedges at Marshall’s or running to Target for your favorite face wash and a gallon of milk. There’s no need for multiple rewards cards that you can never find anymore. One thing I always have on hand? My smartphone. It’s so nice to solve these problems.

My favorite app also makes me feel like I’m part of a secret society of covert, competitive shoppers going under the radar to snap up points for big rewards, like free gift cards to Best Buy and Amazon. They really do help me focus my rewards game to make sure I’m earning while I spend—and that I have fun while I roll down the aisles.

How Mobile Rewards Apps Change the Game by Incentivizing Browsing

Incentivize your shopping with mobile apps you must have
Earn a free pick-me-up while you shop. Cheers to a new era in shopping! | Image courtesy Unsplash user Clem Onojeghuo

You’re sitting down, right? Your favorite store may be trying to reward you just for walking in. Am I blowing your mind? I know it blew mine when I first learned about it. See, all you need is a smartphone with space for a free app, and I know you have one of those (how else would you get driving directions to the mall out in Timbuktu for a mega sale?). All you have to do is hit download, open the app, then start getting paid to shop!

By downloading a free retail rewards app, I earn points for every aspect of my shopping experience, from walking through the door to exploring new products, and even buying kitchen staples. As soon as I’m in sight of that store entrance, my app and I are on the hunt. A shopping rewards scavenger hunt, that is.

How to Pick the Best Retail Mobile App for You

The new era of digital shopping has inspired a wave of retail mobile apps, each uniquely innovative in their own way. Every serious shopper needs to sit down and explore their options, comparing apps with their own shopping style. Here are a few things I personally looked for before choosing an app to be my shopping partner-in-crime:

  • A fun way to earn: Some retail rewards apps only offer points for filling out surveys. I don’t mind filling out the occasional survey, but they can start to feel more like work than something I’d do for fun. Make sure you’re going to enjoy the process of earning rewards. Your app should engage you while you shop, like a best friend with an eagle eye for new, hot products that have just hit the shelves.
  • Great rewards you can actually use: Look at the types of incentives an app offers before you download it. Some offer coupons to help you save a few cents here and there, but my app helps me gather points so I can earn bigger rewards, like gift cards to my favorite stores or a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a cream cheese danish at Starbucks (mid-shopping fuel, y’all!).
  • Easy to use: One of my closest friends isn’t what I would call technically savvy, but the retail mobile app my group of besties uses is so simple that even she’s using it like a pro. She’s snapping up rewards as fast as I am, and it makes me so proud to have her out there with me!
  • Free to download: This should go without saying, but don’t pay to play. Make sure the rewards app you choose is free to download and use.

If an app that offers all four of my criteria sounds like a savvy shopaholic’s dream, let me introduce you to my (very real) favorite shopping rewards app, Shopkick. The first time I opened this app, it was a revelation. I was getting rewarded for browsing the aisles and buying the latest fashions—and it all felt like a game (or a dream come true, perhaps?).

Shopkick was instantly rewarding me with points, called kicks, just for being my motivated shopper self. Plus, I’ve been getting bonus points for encouraging my crew and their families to sign up as well. I’ve been pushing myself to shop better most of my life but, with Shopkick, there’s never been a better time to be perusing the product shelves. Rewards, aisle 10!

Explore how Shopkick’s innovative retail mobile app works to bolster your shopping game, changing your shopping experience forever. Download the free Shopkick app to start Shopkicking before the next time you walk through those double doors. You can also get real-time updates on how Shopkick is revolutionizing shopping by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Shopkick is the fun and easy way to earn free gift cards for the shopping you already do. Download the app now!


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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.