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Online Christmas shopping: top tips

Online Christmas shopping

Take some of the stress out of Christmas shopping this year – pick up your smartphone, sit back and browse a range of brilliant gifts online. Online shopping is the perfect way to keep your feet dry and arms free of heavy bags, not to mention you might even be able to pick up a bargain or two. To help, we thought we’d share some of our top tips for online Christmas shopping.

Use Christmas shopping lists

Download a note-taking app designed to help you manage your shopping lists and you’ll never have to worry about accidentally missing anyone off your list – or buying the same present twice!

Apps like Evernote, Remember the Milk and Wunderlist can be downloaded onto your phone, tablet and computer, allowing you to sync your shopping list seamlessly between them all. You can even share specific lists with friends and family, perfect if there’s more than one of you in charge of the Christmas shopping this year.

If you’d rather add a little festive flair to your shopping list, then the Christmas Lift List app for Android or Santa’s Bag for iOS are sure to have you ho, ho, ho’ing all the way to the checkout.

Make use of store apps

Many of the big stores will have a dedicated shopping app and when you visit their websites’ on your mobile, you might see a pop-up asking you whether you want to use it.

There are some advantages to using an app for your shopping. For a start, they’re typically easier to navigate on a smartphone and most will also save all of your details under one log-in, meaning you won’t have to fill in big forms every time you want to buy something.

Apps aren’t for everyone, however. Your phone might be low on memory or you may simply prefer using a website you’re familiar with. If that’s the case, tick ‘No Thanks’, skip the app and carry on shopping on the website.

Oxford Street

Use your smartphone to find local shops

If you really would like to get out there and sample a few Christmas presents before you buy, your smartphone can be a very handy companion. Google Maps is so sophisticated these days that it’s the perfect tool for finding out a shop’s opening hours – and just how busy it is at certain times. Use Google Maps to scout the quietest shopping periods and your browsing will be a breeze.

Another great app to help you save on legwork is Pricerunner. Gone are the days when you have to nip into every single shop to compare prices. Available for both Android and iOS, Pricerunner collates customer reviews and prices from a huge range of shops, saving you time and money.

Get the desktop experience

If you’d like your shopping experience on your phone to be as close as possible to the one on your laptop and PC, check the header and footer of the website you’re browsing – some will have a message asking if you want to use the mobile or desktop version of the site.

Beware though, unless you have a phablet you might find that when you switch to the desktop version the writing is teeny tiny on your screen.

Don’t be afraid to bookmark

When you’re getting stuck into Christmas shopping there often comes a stage when indecision hits – would Grandad prefer socks or a scarf? Is that perfume better than the other? – when you find yourself in that situation, browser bookmarks are your best friend.

When you’re looking at a product page on your smartphone and you’re just not quite sure it’s the right one, simply hit the ‘add to bookmarks’ option on your browser and know it’ll be there for you to come back to later. You can filter your bookmarks into different folders or simply keep one big list with everything you’ve seen, just don’t forget to clear out your bookmarks in the New Year.