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Top 5 Biggest Mobile E-retailers

Author: Michael Harris

Online shopping has made its way to mobile devices, and it isn't uncommon today to find and buy items from a smartphone or tablet. As early as 2013, the percentage of Internet shopping done via a mobile device exceeded that done on a traditional PC. With new location-based services and enhancements to digital marketing, online shopping has never been easier when on the go. Here is a list of the top five mobile retail apps available today. (See also: 5 Money Saving Shopping Tips.)

Top Mobile Retailers of 2015

1. Amazon Shopping

Amazon (AMZN) has been a leader in the online retailing space for over a decade. Unsurprisingly, its free mobile app is also the industry leader. Amazon Shopping lets users shop for millions of products from anywhere in the world. Most of Amazon's flagship website features and options are accessible via the app, including order tracking, daily deals, notifications and more.

Amazon Shopping also makes shopping easier through several additional capabilities. The app responds to voice commands and can automatically notify buyers when orders ship and arrive at their destination. With the help of the device's camera, users can scan barcodes to look up and compare prices as well as interface with Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and other social media platforms. The latest version of the Amazon Shopping App also supports Android Wear, enabling Android Wear owners to use their voice to search for and buy products as well as save shopping ideas to their Wish List.

2. eBay

eBay (EBAY) is another online retailing powerhouse that has been around for almost a decade. Its mobile app, like Amazon's, provides users with access to all the products currently available for sale or auction on the full website. Users can easily browse or search for millions of items as well as list their own wares for sale. The eBay app also fully integrates with PayPal to allow one-click purchases that are safe and secure.

3. OfferUp

OfferUp is a free app that allows users to buy and sell items locally, acting as a garage sale right on a phone or tablet. With OfferUp, users can sell anything simply by taking a picture of the item with their mobile device's camera. The app also uses your location as a guide to show you local items for sale. Lastly, all communication between buyers and sellers is anonymous, adding an extra layer of security.

4. Walmart

Walmart (WMT) is the world's largest retailer, so it isn't surprising that its mobile app is also a strong player in mobile retailing. The Walmart shopping app allows online purchases of its extensive inventory, but it also boasts some other useful features. The Store Locator shows nearby locations, phone numbers and hours of operation. The Savings Catcher automatically compares the prices of eligible items on your receipt against the advertised deals offered by nearby top competitors. If a lower price is found, Walmart will give back the difference in the form of an e-Gift Card.

The Walmart app now also features baby and wedding registries that can be created and managed from anywhere. With the app, users can scan items in the store to build their custom registry. In the latest version, customers can order, refill, transfer and view pharmacy prescriptions as well as send photos to a 1-Hour Walmart Photo Center for high quality prints.

5. RetailMeNot

While not a true online shopping experience, RetailMeNot's mobile coupons app makes it easy for shoppers to save money via daily deals at popular stores and restaurants. RetailMeNot automatically finds many of the best deals from more than 50,000 retailers. Coupons appear on the device's screen when scanned at checkout and can be accessed across any device linked to the account. The app notifies users when new deals appear at their favorite stores and sends reminders when saved coupons are about to expire. Location services let the user see all available deals on a map and can automatically send alerts for deals according to physical proximity. (See also: The 10 Biggest Mobile Apps of 2015.)

The Bottom Line

Mobile apps are making online shopping easier than ever. Location services, digital marketing and leveraging mobile devices' features makes the experience faster, more efficient and passes the savings on to the consumer. Among the most popular shopping apps, the majority belong to large existing retailers, including Amazon and Walmart. At the same time, unique retail experiences, such as those provided by OfferUp and RetailMeNot, allow smaller companies to harness the power of mobile retailing in new and interesting ways.

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