Some enjoy the hustle and bustle of the high street as Christmas approaches, while others of us will be turning to our mobile devices to help us find the perfect gift for loved ones this festive season.
Last year, mobile commerce firm Weve claimed 88 per cent of us used our smartphones for our Christmas shopping in 2013, spending an average of £250 each, which resulted in almost £4 billion spent on mobiles and we suspect this figure only increased in 2014. Apps and websites are so much better than they used to be, making finding gifts and having them delivered much more appealing than going out into the crowds.
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 a couple of weeks away, here are a few apps to help you find the perfect gifts and possibly even save you some money if you're lucky enough to find something on the bargain hunting apps.
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. You can browse and shop by department, as well as compare prices, find deals and read what other people have to say about the product you are looking at.
You can purchase directly through the app and Amazon customers can see and add to their wish lists and existing basket, allowing you to move between devices. It's also possible to scan barcodes to find instant information, but it will also recognise items too.
Thoughtful Gift Finder
The Thoughtful Gift Finder app is from notonthehighstreet.com. It allows you to add events into the app so you never forget any of those special occasions and there are push notifications that will remind you of the events or special offers and news from the site.
Gift Finder uses sliders to filter through the 60,000 products available on notonthehighstreet.com to find a perfect gift for someone. It will ask you a number of questions such as whether the person you are shopping for is a keen traveller, or a sports lover, or a top chef in order to help you find suitable options. 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.
Download the Gift Finder app for free from iTunes.
ASOS is predominantly a clothing app but it also sells beauty products and accessories. You'll find ASOS own-branded clothing as well as branded clothing and it has numerous filter options, such as "Secret Santa" to help you find a variety of gifts.
ASOS account holders can add things to their wish lists by tapping the heart and there is also a My Recommendations section that allow you to see the things you might like so you can add them to your own Christmas list.
The eBay app is a bit like Amazon in that it offers almost everything, but you can also sell 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.
You might not be a fan of sale shopping, but Groupon makes it so easy to find a bargain without trying too hard. 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.
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 also has themed collections for holidays and events.
A little like Groupon, the VoucherCodes apps allows you to find deals for various restaurants, shops, electronics and travel, among other categories. You can filter by category, as well as find codes for places near your current location.
It's not an app for buying a gift as such, more for saving money on buying a gift. You can click on any of the offers and you'll get an instant online code that can then be used to pay online or given to the waitress or waiter when you are out for Christmas drinks for example.
The official HotUKDeals.com app will bring you access to deals, voucher codes, freebies and savings so you "never pay retail again". It's another good one for a bargain and you can filter by retailer as well as 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.
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 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.
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.
Download the Gift It app for free from iTunes.