Spending
13 things to remember about Mobile shopping Apps
Mobile shopping apps give you the choice to shop at your convenience but be careful with them
 
As our mobile devices become more and more a part of our everyday lives, we are increasingly using them for shopping, working and communication. No wonder, during 2014, sessions in shopping apps on iOS and Android increased by a whopping 174% year-on-year. On Android alone, the shopping category increased by 220%, says a research report from Flurry which tracks mobile app usage trends.
 
In India too, we are witnessing the uptrend in shopping through mobile apps from Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Jabong and so on. The response for shopping with a mobile device is so massive that Myntra, the fashion portal from Flipkart, decided to exit from the web and is now exclusively available as mobile app from 15 May 2015. “The best fashion experience is a truly personalised and engaging one that is only possible through the device that is closest to you. A device that understands you—your mobile,” Myntra says.
 
Almost all shopping portals are now offering some items at special price or with an additional discount if the order is placed from the mobile app. There are some apps only offers as well.  
 
What to watch out for…
  1. Buy only if there are ‘real’ money saving offers
  2. Do not fall prey for lowest price offer as it may be excluding delivery charges
  3. Do not get lured by the good-looking images of the product; always check product specifications
  4. Always try to read comments/views of other buyers. Check ratings as well
  5. Opt for well-known brand, but do a double-check with the brand’s official portal, or authorised dealer about price and warranty
  6. Do not fall prey to fancy, foreign-sounding brand names
  7. Check the credibility of the seller. Ratings do help in such matters 
  8. Check the delivery charges per item before placing the order
  9. Do check the refund/replacement policy. This is important, in case something goes wrong
  10. Be aware of the terms & conditions of the mobile app and the product seller 
  11. Place an order only if you can get delivery as promised at your location and the delivery charges are reasonable
  12. Keep an eye on your wallet while placing an order
  13. Check if the ‘cash-on-order’ option is available (and pay the delivery boy only when you have opened and checked the item in his presence)
 
Security
 
Use an app that is downloaded from the authentic store only. Before installing the app, double-check the permissions and access it can have. For example, 
 
I fail to understand why the Flipkart mobile app needs access to the contents on my device’s SD card or requires control of flashlight. 
 
 
Log in to the app only when you are placing an order. It will prevent the app being misused by children and friends. As applicable for all such transactions, do not share your shopping apps login details and password with anyone. For added security, use apps lock feature or use an app that provides app locking facility.
 
Another interesting thing is the size (after installation) of the app and the data it consumes. Keep an eye on this, especially if your mobile handset had a low RAM and internal memory and you are worried about higher bills. Most shopping apps available today, in India, tend to generate cache and data larger than the app size. Do clean the cache and stored data periodically to ensure smooth functioning of your mobile device and the app. Android users can go to Settings>Apps>, find the app name, open it and then touch ‘clear data’ and ‘clear cache’.

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