There are hundreds of thousands of mobile apps available for smartphones, and many of them are designed to make the shopping experience easier and more enjoyable. Two of these that are top-rated by consumers are CVS and Walgreens apps. A recent study conducted by Xtreme Labs, a mobile strategy and development company, found that individuals said the drugstore apps for their iPhones were worthy of a 4.5 out 5 star rating. Within the Android market, CVS and Amazon were given 90 percent favorable reviews.

Xtreme Labs assessed smartphone apps from the top 100 retailers in the United States, a list that was created by Stores Magazines last year. The lower-ranked apps included discount retailer Meijer, Kohl's and grocery store chain Giant Eagle. Arts and crafts store Michael's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Burger King and Harris Tweeter also received low scores. 

Surprisingly, a whopping 30 percent of all top 100 retailers do not have an app, and many of those that do are plagued by problems related to performance.

''When a quarter of all complaints involve app crashes, it should serve as a wakeup call that consumers will quickly go somewhere else, like eBay or Zappos, to fill their needs,'' said Xtreme Labs Director of Retail Jeremy Black. 

Even when apps don't have rampant technical issues, individuals often complain about difficulties browsing merchandise or completing a transaction. According to sources like MediaPost Publications, the most effective smartphone apps focus on usefulness and versatility. For example, when you download the CVS program for your iPhone or BlackBerry, not only can you refill prescriptions, you can also browse store aisles.

If you own a business and want improve your presence among consumers, work with a small business internet marketing firm that can optimize your website for mobile. For years, Key Media Solutions has been helping company CEOs gain a leg up against competitors by organizing pay-per-click campaigns and redesigning websites.