I’m not really sure how we did it in the past. Shopping without a cell phone, that is. To me, if I even leave the house for any reason and I don’t have my cell phone, if I’m 10 minutes or less away from my house, I will turn around and go back and get it. The only exception is if the trip is going to be very short, but even then, those short trips to the grocery store, for example, really warrant a return trip to pick it up.
Here are a few reasons why you need to have a cell phone when you go shopping, in no particular order:
- Last Minute Updates – sometimes you simply need to check in with your significant other to see if there are any last minute items that you need to get or if the list that you have is accurate.
- Digital Shopping List – my memory just has no room left to keep track of things that I need to buy. So, I always write myself an email or do a quick digital note of my shopping list. Also, you can have people email you updates should you need to add something to your list (see #1 above).
- Music to my Ears – having a smart phone is very helpful when shopping, especially if you have your music library loaded on it. Instead of hearing the sounds of angry or hurried shoppers or frustrated store workers, you can simply tune them out using a music player on your smart phone.
- Digital Baby Sitter – if you bring your children with you, your cell phone can be a baby sitter or portable entertainment center. Be sure you always have a few child games or drawing applications and your (smaller) child will (hopefully) sit peacefully in the shopping cart, giving you a more distraction free environment to shop. Or even play a movie!
- Mobile Scoreboard – let’s face it, for those who are sports junkies or who simply like staying up to date on the game while you are out and about, it is critical to have a sports application to feed you real time scores or updates, or at a minimum, have access to a web browser to be able to pull up the mobile version of ESPN.
- Product Pictures – sometimes you simply need to get a record of an item that you have seen. What better way to do that then to use your cell phone’s camera to take a picture of the item and its price tag for future reference.
- Comparative Shopping – if you are a bargain hunter, you would be silly to not have your smart phone with you. It’s pretty normal to find better deals online on the same products that you see in a store. And there are even apps that let you scan/take a picture of a bar code to pull up product details and comparative online and local prices for that product.
- Shopping Companion – maybe your best friend or family member is across the country and you are simply searching for time to catch up. There is no better time to do a catch-up call than when you are browsing through whatever store you are in. The time will pass faster and you will have been able to give almost 100% of your attention to your friend or family member.
- Finding Your Way – sometimes a shopping excursion takes you to new places. If so equipped, you can use your GPS-enabled device to help you get there. Also, you can write down where your car is parked so you don’t lose it!
- Stay Connected – this is pretty much an open ended one but as long as you have your smart phone, you can stay connected to your office when you are out shopping – check emails, update your work calendar, do a conference call, you name it. Cell phones help extend your digital presence beyond the office walls.
As part of the AT&T Lose the Laptop challenge, for June, we were tasked with the theme “shopping“. For me, it’s hard to imagine NOT taking or having a smart phone with you when you are out spending money. But that is probably the hardest thing this day and age of tightened purse strings and thin wallets…not having to cash to buy anything. So as part of the June challenge, people who vote are eligible for the prize of a $500 Amazon gift certificate AND an HTC Tilt 2! Just register and vote EVERY DAY…oh, and really, you need to vote for me! Every day you vote, you are entered to win.
Do you have a favorite tool or use for your smart phone when you are out shopping? What have I missed? And what smart phone do you use? Personally, I use the iPhone but the HTC Tilt 2 also handles all of the items above just fine! How does your smart phone do?
Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. More information can be found in my About page as well as here. More information about the “Lose the Laptop” program is available here.
HTD says: Shopping without a cell phone is like walking without shoes on, it’s doable but a bit painful!