Forget the mall. The smartest, most pleasurable way to gifts is from “home sweet home”. Here’s some apps for online shoppers:
This tablet version of Google's recently launched fashion-search-engine-meets-social-network has everything the website offers in a setup that makes for easy touchscreen browsing. The app includes product recommendations (bags, accessories, shoes, clothing) and celebrity favorites (extensive, browsable picks by boldfaced names you can "follow," like Jamie-Lynn Sigler and the Olsen twins) among other filters.
Brands are of the boutique-y variety, including Badgley Mischka and House of Harlow, which you purchase directly from the merchant after a couple of clicks. Sadly, the app doesn't include the personalized "My Boutique" feature that's on the website, so make sure to first set that up at boutiques.com if you want recommendations to be tailored to your tastes.
Whether you're looking for a set of antique place settings or a refurbished MacBook, eBay is the place for rare gifts of the non-shrink-wrapped variety. The online auctioneer's main app (there are a suite of them for various retail niches) clears the overwhelming clutter of the website by letting you browse through filtered lists for daily deals on stocking stuffers, gadgets, toys and the like. Or you can just search for that obscure item by browsing through the auctions. Free, ebay.com
From Judith Leiber bags and Vera Wang dresses to Orb Speakers and Zwilling J.A. Henckel knives, the luxury goods available via this buyers club's mobile offering are always on sale for 36 hours or less. The app offers quick-loading, complete descriptions and full-screen images of merchandise and sends you push notifications when new sales begin—handy since many items sell out fast. Free, gilt.com