Shopping from your Android or other mobile devices is a lot easier than it used to be. I know I shop all of the time while I am out and about. It’s easier to buy something, or at least add it to your digital shopping cart, at the time you think about it rather than making a list and doing your shopping later.
I have certain stores I prefer and others I go to because of their convenience. Some people will go to insane lengths to find the best deal. Even if that means they have to spend hours searching through the deal sites, Android shopping apps and even driving a long way to get the lowest price.
Other shoppers are extremely loyal to their favorite stores. For example, there are people who will pay a little extra to shop for products at Target because they don’t like the stigma they feel comes with shopping at Walmart.
Other shoppers like the convenience and savings that come from buying in bulk; these people shop at warehouse stores like Costco.
No matter your shopping preference, all three of these stores have Android apps to help you shop more efficiently and save you money on the things you need—and probably things you don’t.
1. Walmart App for Android
Walmart, like ‘em or hate ‘em, has some low prices on just about everything you can think to buy. From a money saving standpoint, they are a good place to shop. Especially if you live in a small rural town like I do. I would have to drive an extra 30 miles to get new tires on my car if I didn’t want to go to Walmart.
Their app is pretty handy. Setting your home store allows you to see any local deals, as well as what is in stock.
Say, for example, you have a Chevy Equinox. You wake up in the morning and notice you have a nail in the tire and need to replace the tires. (It’s all wheel drive so you can’t replace just one tire.) You can look on the Walmart app for Android and see if they have a set in stock.
(Hint – They didn’t stock it when this happened to me. It’s an odd size, and they have to order them for most locations.)
What’s Good About the Walmart App for Android
The home screen is laid out well. You can scroll to find commonly used sections like the pharmacy, weekly ad, find a store, gift registry and a list of departments.
The built-in barcode scanner is extremely useful. You can scan an item you have at home and see what the price and availability is. The bar code scanner could save you some driving if you need garbage bags or your favorite brand of tissues and the Walmart near you is out of stock.
Scan your Walmart receipts into Savings Catcher feature and it will scan the advertised prices of their competitors. If they find a cheaper price somewhere else, they will give you a gift card or prepaid credit card with the difference.
The pharmacy section of the app lets you move your prescription to Walmart, refill your prescription by scanning the bar code on the bottle or from your account history and find a location near you.
The 1-hour photo feature lets you select pictures you’ve taken on your Android device and send them to the nearest Walmart for developing. You can pick up your vacation photos on the way home from your vacation.
You can also place and track online orders through the Walmart Android app.
What’s Bad About the Walmart App for Android
If you are an occasional user, you will want to go into the settings and turn off the notifications. The app can send quite a few notifications.
Is the Walmart App for Android Worth the Download?
If you are a frequent Walmart shopper or use their pharmacy, there are a lot of reasons to download the app. I think the option to buy something online and pick it up at the store can save you a lot of time combing the isles looking for the specific item you need.
2. Costco App for Android
For the 6 people in the US who haven’t heard of Costco and anyone outside the US or 8 other countries where they have locations, I’ll give you a quick rundown.
Costco is members-only warehouse store. You pay a yearly fee to be a member. The membership gives you the access to buy things in bulk. You may have heard people joking around that they don’t need 6 gallons of mustard, so they don’t need a Costco membership. This is only half true.
You can get large quantities of food there, but you can also buy everything from electronics to mattresses, hot tubs to a motorized retractable awning. You can find just about everything you can think of there.
What’s Good About the Costco App for Android
The shopping list feature is a godsend. You can add different items to your list to save time.
You can add an item with a coupon to your shopping list. This way you don’t forget it when you’re at the store.
You can buy or renew a membership right on the Costco Android app. Another perk of the mobile app is the access you have to items not available in the stores.
What’s Bad About the Costco App for Android
I’m not a fan of being required to have my location on to find the nearest location. I know where I am. I need to find your store, not have you find me. Give me the option to type in the zip code or city instead.
The Shop Costco.com link takes you to their main website. Why would I need to download the app to shop if I can just use Chrome or Firefox for Android and shop.
Is the Costco App for Android Worth the Download?
The main reason you would want to download the Costco app for Android is the time-saving feature. The stores are huge, and you can easily get distracted when you’re in there. Seeing what’s available and what’s discounted with a coupon is helpful. Otherwise, for most of your other needs, you are better off using their website on your computer or mobile browser.
3. Target App for Android
Target is different than the other two stores. They have a wide variety of products. Target is usually a bit higher priced than similar stores. I’m not saying they are charging a lot more, but Target is not generally giving you deep discounts on everyday items.
What’s Good About the Target App for Android
Target has other apps for specific needs. Having separate apps for different functions is both good and bad.
For example, a coupon app where you can find deals on various items at the stores. You can have the cashier scan the barcode on the screen and save some money.
Similar to the Walmart app, you have a barcode scanner to check the price and availability of an item. These scanners are good for comparison shopping too.
There is a section to sign up for mobile coupons. Signing up means they will send a text message to your phone with various deals.
The clearance section is handy for finding deals. The app is easy to navigate with the search bar or by category. The categories include the registry and pharmacy.
What’s Bad About the Target App for Android
Target also wants to know your location. During testing, the app checked my location several times. Again, not a fan of the app needing to know where I am.
It would be nice to have all of the functions in a single app, so you don’t need to take up the extra space on your phone or remember which app does what.
Why not offer push notifications with deals instead of asking for your name and phone number?
Is the Target App for Android Worth the Download?
The app is worth the download if you are a frequent shopper. If you are just an occasional visitor to the stores, you may just want to use their mobile site. The mobile site offers a lot of the same features and isn’t pinging your phone for your location every other minute.
All of the apps were worked well and offered good options to shop while mobile. Much like the stores themselves, they are geared toward a specific type of shopper. If you aren’t a member of Costco, you shouldn’t download the app. Unless you are curious about the prices and selection that’s available to their members.
If you have one of these apps on your phone, what do you mainly use it for?