Christmas shopping: Apps to help you find the perfect gifts

Some enjoy the hustle and bustle of the high street as Christmas approaches, while the other 90 per cent of us will be turning to our mobile devices to help us find the perfect gift, according to new research.

Mobile commerce firm Weve claimed 88 per cent of us used our smartphones for our Christmas shopping last year, spending an average of £250 each, which resulted in almost £4 billion spent on mobiles last Christmas.

The research also said that 70 per cent of us use our mobile device to find inspiration for gift ideas so with that in mind and Christmas just two months away, here are a few apps to help if you want to get organised early this year.

Amazon

The Amazon app is an obvious one, but it's also one that can't be left off the list when it comes to shopping apps.

You can browse and shop by department, which you would expect, but it also lets you compare prices, find deals and read what other people have to say about the product you are looking at.

Once you have found what you want, the app lets you purchase directly and if you are an Amazon customer you will also be able to see your wish lists and existing basket so you can move between devices but still have access to everything you've been looking at.

If that's not enough, you'll also be able to scan a barcode and the app will give you instant information on pricing and availability so you'll know straight away if you need to look elsewhere for the gift you desperately need to get hold of.

Download the Amazon app for free from Google Play, iTunes, Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World.

Groupon

You might not be a fan of sale shopping, but Groupon makes it so easy it would almost be rude not to take the discount when it's right in front of you.

Whether you are looking for a pair of Swarovski element earrings or a romantic weekend getaway, Groupon will more than likely have something for you. In fact, the 50-90 per cent off price has a knack of making you really want something even when you would never have originally considered it.

 

The app lets you buy and redeem deals directly, as well as track purchased vouchers by location and expiration in case you get a bit bargain happy. You'll also be able share any deals you find with your family and friends using Twitter.

Groupon has themed collections for holidays and events so finding something for Christmas should be a piece of cake (not literally).

Download the Groupon app for free from Google Play, iTunesWindows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World.

Gift King

Ladies, you will need to take a back seat here as the Gift King app is notonthehighstreet.com's seasonal app "just for men". Don't be too put out though - it claims to make buying for women much easier so you could end up with an even better present.

Gift King works by asking a few questions about the kind of woman you're buying for, diving into factors like how into her jewellery she is, her love for her home, whether she is all about family and how sentimental she is, along with your budget.

 

You use sliders to answer the questions along the scale and the app will then filter gifts from the notonthehighstreet.com website that it thinks are suitable. It also asks if you need it in time for Christmas, making sure you only see items that will meet the delivery requirement.

Gift King can be used to find quick gifts for family and friends too using the categories on the home page, but trying to decide how sentimental someone is wins on the fun factor.

Download the Gift King app for free from iTunes.

HotUKDeals

The official HotUKDeals.com app will bring you access to deals, voucher codes, freebies and savings so you "never pay retail again".

It's a good one if you like a bargain and you can not only filter by retailer if you have a specific shop in mind, but it also allows you to search the database to find shared voucher codes that members have uploaded from stores including Asda, Argos, Zavvi and Tesco.

If you join the HUKD community, you will also be able to submit deals or tips from anywhere just like others have done, sharing discounts and tips that are not always advertised, so keep your eyes peeled for those bargains others have posted.

Download the HotUKDeals app free from Google PlayiTunes and Windows Phone

eBay

The eBay app is a bit like Amazon in that it offers almost everything, but you can also sell pretty easily on this app if you need a bit of extra cash.

In terms of buying, you can search through the various categories and bid, buy or make an offer on a product you like. Once you have purchased, you can track your packages and leave feedback, plus the app also lets you save your favourite sellers and searches.

 

When it comes to selling, it doesn't take long to list your item and there is a barcode scanner to find similar items to compare prices or start a new listing so you don't have to do it all yourself.

You'll get alerts when there is activity on products you are selling, or products you are buying so if someone outbids you, it won't take long to get back on top.

Download the eBay app for free from Google Play, iTunesWindows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World.

Thoughtful Gift Finder

The Thoughtful Gift Finder app is another one from notonthehighstreet.com but this time it is designed for everyone to use, not just those buying for women.

It allows you to add events into the app so you can add friends' and family's birthdays, or an anniversary so you never forget any of those special occasions you're supposed to remember. There are also push notifications which you can set to remind you of the events, or special offers and news from the site so you really do have no excuse.

 

Like Gift King, Gift Finder uses sliders to filter through the 60,000 products available on notonthehighstreet.com to find a perfect gift for someone. Where it differs slightly is this app has a broader spectrum of questions such as whether the person you are shopping for is a keen traveller, or a sports lover, or a top chef.

Once you see something you like or think they will like, you can buy it straight from the app, or tag the item to an event if you see a great anniversary present for example.

Download the Gift Finder app for free from iTunes.

uShop: UK

There are hundreds of shops out there, all with thousands of potential purchases, visiting each one whether on the web or in person would be a mighty task.

uShop:UK pulls together some of the UK's biggest high street chains, providing access to their latest products and online checkouts through their websites so everything is in one convenient place.

Marks & Spencer, ASOS, Debenhams, John Lewis, Amazon, Currys, Argos, Tesco and Sainsbury's are all included, along with Harrods, eBay, My Wardrobe and more.

Download the uShop: UK app for free from Google Play.

Gift It

Gift It is a Christmas shopping list and countdown app so it will not only help you stay organised, but you will also be fully aware of how long you have left until the big day.

Featuring a childlike design that is easy to use for all the family, the Gift It app allows you to create lists, set a budget and share lists via email or SMS.

You can enter an amount next to each gift and the total will appear at the bottom so you know how much you've spent.

It will also give you a "Budget Status" and "Ready for Santa" status, the latter of which currently says "Keep Shopping" for us, which it will do until Christmas Eve probably. Sigh.

Download the Gift It app for free from iTunes