5 ways your smartphone can enhance your shopping experience this holiday season

Smartphones may be the tool that revolutionizes your holiday shopping experience this year.

Technology is continuously making shopping easier and quicker, with apps and other smartphone features making the at-home and in-store shopping experience more convenient. This holiday season, 42 percent of customers will shop through their mobile devices, according to data from Citi Retail Services.

»PHOTOS: Former summer cottage of John Patterson on market for $785K

Here are five ways you could use your smartphone to make holiday shopping easier:

1. Order in apps

With an expected 15 percent increase in online holiday shopping, according to Adobe Analytics, mobile is likely to see a major increase. About 68 percent of all e-commerce visits will be on smarthphones, according to a recent study by Salesforce.

Just about every retailer now has an app that streamlines the searching and ordering process.

»RELATED: Kroger offering new way to order groceries

2. Use price scanners

The newest version of Walmart’s app has integrated augmented reality to price check and compare. Right now the app is only available on iPhone but is expected to expand to other devices and operating systems soon. Shoppers can view the prices and customer ratings, and then view related products.

Other stores like Kroger and Meijer have less advanced price scanning apps where customers can scan a barcode to search the app for coupons and related products.

»RELATED: Stores aim to be top toy retailer in absence of Toys “R” Us

3. Use augmented reality from home

Worried about buying something online that won't look great in your home? Amazon's app has an augmented reality feature that places a product in the room using a camera. Shoppers can rotate and move the furniture, decor and Alexa devices to see them as they'd appear in the room before buying.

Wayfair and other retailers also have similar offerings on their apps.

4. Use store apps to find products without fighting the crowd

Many retailers, including Kroger and Walmart offer apps that help shoppers find what their looking for. The exact aisle where an item is located is often available in the mobile application.

»BIZ BEAT: 27-hole golf course in Darke County up for auction

5. Add mobile payments before hitting the store

Why make your already long wait in line during holiday rushes even longer? Counting out cash and digging around for your credit card take up valuable time when you could already be backing out of your parking spot. With systems like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and PayPal shoppers can easily scan their phones at checkout for a faster process.

Area stores training employees using Virtual Reality

5 ways new tech will change your holiday shopping experience this year

Store hours: Here's when retailers will open for Thanksgiving, Black Friday sales

Amazon plans to split HQ2 between two cities

Ohio shifting red could impact federal resource allocation

About the Author