by Brent Payne via Flickr creative commons
With the holidays quickly approaching, I’m spending as much time thinking about ways to avoid long checkout queues as I am about the gifts I need to buy. If I can order something online or from the convenience of my BlackBerry ® device, why would I ever wait in line?
There’s a strategy known as the “Chat and Cut,” where you pretend to know someone in line so that you can sneak in with them. Invariably, chat-and-cutters are a major reason why I love shopping from my BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry ® PlayBook ™ tablet. They can’t cut their way into a mobile checkout queue!
Here are some strategies for avoiding the lines by doing your holiday shopping and planning directly from your BlackBerry device:
1. Download a great shopping app.
If you’re brave enough to set foot in stores during the holidays, a barcode reader is really the way to go. ScanLife Barcode Reader – Auto by ScanBuy is a personal favorite because in addition to acting as a standard QR-code reader, it allows for comparison shopping. Scan the barcode of a product you like, see which retailers have it in stock, compare prices and find available coupons – all within the app. Impatience-meets-savvy shopping. Awesome.
I also enjoy the eBay by Research In Motion® Ltd. app. It has virtually all the functionality of the mobile site, allowing users to search items, buy, bid, pay or publish listings from a BlackBerry smartphone. Now that I can bid on merchandise in real time, my chances of winning have skyrocketed. And with BlackBerry ® Messenger ™ (BBM ™) integration, I can share my winning with my network.
2. Take full advantage of the handy native apps on your device.
I recommend using the MemoPad when brainstorming gifts, the tasks function to list out items you want to buy, and the calendar to set aside time to get everything done. It feels great to check off “completed” beside a task, and I’ll bet you feel the same!
3. Use BBM to your full advantage.
In our fast-paced world, there is no time to play games (well, actually, I love playing games on my phone, but that’s another story). Include your friends or family members in a BBM group, and when you conquer the mall together, save time by sharing instant messages about sales or short line-ups. Since I like to make my holiday wish list apparent, I change my BBM photo routinely to pictures of things I’d like to buy. Call it what you want, but it works.
Lastly, if you’re looking to buy someone on your list a BlackBerry device, remember that this can all be done from the BlackBerry website. Find more ‘shopping tools’ apps in the BlackBerry App World ™ storefront, and let us know your favorites in the comments below.