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Calling All Small-Town Shopaholics: Using Mobile Devices To Buy Local

When it comes to shopping these days, it’s easier than ever to knock out a quick purchase from our smartphone with sites like Amazon, eBay and other large, national markets offering practically anything you’d ever want – and that’s no surprise. But taking our shopping habits back to the local level is both healthy for the local economy – the same place you live, work and thrive – and is a great way to find unique items from independent dealers, network with businesses in your area and save money on shipping things from far away.

mobile shopping

But how do you use a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device to help you? One of the draws of shopping through those larger, national markets is the ability to surf your phone or tablet and find what you’re looking for. However, what many people do not know is that it’s just as simple to look for local deals.

Why Shop Local?

With the entire world literally at your fingertips thanks to your mobile device, you might be asking yourself for the reasons to practice local shopping. Here are just a few of them.

Less shipping costs

If you shop within your area code, you’re able to pick up your own items and save on high shipping bills from other places.

Networking with other business folks

If you’re looking for work or own a business, getting to know area businesses is key to success. Find out how they thrive in a local and national market.

Freebies and Specials for Community Members

Often, local businesses treat their local customers to specials, deals and events.

Using Social Media

We’ve all heard the old saying that word-of-mouth is the best advertisement. Put that same theory to use and hop on your social media sites to network with people who are interested in the same products, restaurants and services. Not a fan of clicking on ads in the margins of your Facebook page? There are other ways to find out what’s hot in your social circle.

Check Ins

See what restaurants and retailers your friends have posted as their recent locations. Ask them what they thought about these restaurants, shops and businesses.

Shares, Retweets, Recommendations

If something is going around the circle, it’s probably for a good reason. Visit pages that your friends and family have recommended to check out what deals are worthwhile.

Using Mobile Applications

Of course, plenty of handy mobile applications can come to your aid when you are shopping for a local deal. Check out just a few of the options currently available. They all offer something a little different.

Living Social

Available for iPhone, Android and Windows, the Living Social app offers plenty of perks with use, such as the ability to find restaurants and services in addition to shopping, not to mention exclusive deals for Living Social members. There’s no need to print out any coupons, either; your smart phone is all you need to view and purchase any available steals.

Google Shopper

Available for both iPhones and Androids, this popular Google product helps you compare local prices in your city. Searching with an image is a nifty perk of this application – simply snap a picture with your phone’s camera of a book cover, video game case or bar code, then find the product at nearby retailers.

Yelp

Yelp has made a name for itself as a source for honest, user-based reviews. Now, you can get an application on your iPhone, Android or Windows device. Use the app to search for shops, restaurants and other businesses, then discover whether it’s worth the visit through reviews written by your community.

The Coupons App

As one of the oldest and most popular shopping applications available for Android and iPhone, the Coupons App is exactly what it sounds like – use it to bring up great deals at local businesses on your mobile phone or tablet. The coupons are able to scan right from your device.

Thanks to technology’s recent advances, shopping locally from your mobile device is just as simple as shopping through a large, national chain. Plus, you’ll feel good about stimulating the local economy and making the most of what your own city has to offer.

Written By

Norman Fong is CEO and Co-Founder of BuyVia, an online and iOS App smart shopping service that finds high quality products at the best price available. Deals on popular products like tablet computers, including the iPad and Android tablets, can be sent automatically to users.

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