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10 mobile apps for savvy shoppers

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Big-brand retailers and daily deals coupons and promotion services dominate the list compiled through a June survey by Nielsen.

The Red Laser shopping comparison app made Nielsen's top 10 list of the most widely used mobile shopping apps.

Plenty of retailers and consumer products companies consider smartphones and other mobile devices integral to the future of shopping, even if many of them are scared to death by the idea that you might use them to find a better deal elsewhere --  a practice widely referred to as "showrooming."

One example of the sorts of technologies that might matter is Swirl, a mobile personal shopping assistant is emerging from stealth this week with 220 deals in places -- according to TechCrunch. Big-brands behind the startup, which has raised $6 million in venture capital, include Macy's, Nordstrom's and Old Navy. (Signature Labs offers a similar platform.)

I've been keeping my eyes open whenever I'm out shopping to see who is using mobile apps: so far, the only place I see people regularly using their phone for transactions, though, is in Starbucks. That explains the coffee company's big deal with Square last week for a mobile payment solution.

But what other mobile shopping applications are American smartphone shoppers using?

New data from Nielsen suggests that big brands have the edge in mobile shopping apps, at least according to its June 2012 survey of more than 5,000 American smartphone users.

Close to half of those surveyed used some sort of shopping app, an average of 17 times on average, according to Nielsen. The Top 10 list is dominated mainly by established brands that offer mobile options as another channel to a broader shopping experience; daily deals services offering coupons and promotions also did well.

"As more Americans use their smartphones while shopping and making purchases directly through apps, retailers should consider personalizing their targeted offerings around the needs of individual consumers," said Don Kellogg, director of telecom insights at Nielsen, in a comment about the survey results.

Here's the complete list:

  1. eBay Mobile
  2. Amazon Mobile
  3. Groupon
  4. Shopkick
  5. LivingSocial
  6. Walgreens
  7. Target
  8. RedLaser
  9. Out of Milk Shopping LIst
  10. SavingStar Grocery eCoupons
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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure