Big brand iPhone apps for the shopping season

Nov 12, 2010
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Big brands and retailers are making a splash via the iPhone this holiday season. They are taking some creative license, using applications to further promote and sell merchandise, but also to reinvent their relationship with consumers on the go. Here we take a look at some of the world’s most recognizable names, pulling together our […]

Big brands and retailers are making a splash via the iPhone this holiday season. They are taking some creative license, using applications to further promote and sell merchandise, but also to reinvent their relationship with consumers on the go.

Here we take a look at some of the world’s most recognizable names, pulling together our favorite big brand apps. Which ones might you want to dial into?

You know your brand has reached the big time when its marketing campaign generates more participation than the 2008 presidential campaign. Such is the Pepsi Refresh Project, driven in large part by the Pepsi Refresh Everything app. The app allows users to read about and vote for grant proposals submitted by people looking to “refresh” the world. Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000. And who doesn’t love helping to give away large sums of money?

When it comes to big sports brands, there are too many iPhone apps to count. But among our favorites is the adidas stores app, which will help you into a new workout outfit in no time, and The PUMA Index, which seems to have little to do with sport and lots to do with semi-naked models.

As one of America’s most recognizable department stores, it is fitting that Macy’s has a super slick iPhone app. Users can shop the company’s entire inventory, department by department. And there are plenty of clearance and special sale items. If you already have a Macy’s credit card, you can use your existing account to complete purchases. This app practically wills you to spend money, so you know where to turn for last-minute Christmas presents.

What self-respecting music lover, or movie lover, or anything entertainment lover could live without a local Best Buy store? But if you would like to avoid the store experience, complete with stacked parking lot, there is the Best Buy iPhone app. The app doesn’t just give users run-of-the-mill product info, but includes lots of ratings, reviews and related items.

Another consumer retail giant, Walmart, also has a full range of products available via its iPhone app. And one of its unique features is a shopping list that you create and save as you browse the app’s inventory. That way, you won’t forget anything on your wish-list the next time you visit a Walmart store. Need help finding one? You can do that on the app, too.

But perhaps no brand has been as successful as casting itself as the queen of American chic – cool, but still affordable – as Target. And the company has an iPhone app to match. Users can browse it for thousands of Target products, and create wish lists for wedding registries, baby showers and other such occasions. In addition, there are plenty of price markdowns and coupon opportunities that help to keep the bill at a manageable level.

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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