Mobile Shopping Apps Are Helping On-the-Go Consumers Locate Deals and Boost Retail Sales

Mobile Shopping Apps Help On-the-Go Consumers Locate Deals and Boost Retailer's Sales

10 Mobile Shopping Apps Changing the Landscape for Consumers and Retailers

NEW YORK, NY — Mobile Shopping Apps are changing the ways consumers shop and gather product information. Consumers are using mobile apps and mobile-enabled websites for a broad range of tasks that include on-the-spot price comparisons, checking for in-store product availability, downloading mobile coupons, reviews and product comparisons.

According to a recent study by Cisco Systems released at this year’s National Retail Federation Convention, 78 percent of all shoppers use the Internet to purchase and research products and services, but even more important, the study revealed that 71 percent of shoppers want to access digital content inside retailer’s stores. The study also found that consumers were eager to obtain product information in-store through a retailer’s touchscreen or by using their own mobile device.

Finding mobile shopping apps can be challenging for consumers because of the high number of apps currently available on multiple mobile platforms. For example, both Google and Apple currently have more than 500,000 apps available, and there’s more than 100,000 apps available for the Blackberry platform. BlackBerry’s App World has a well-organized selection of shopping-related apps in a defined “shopping” category. However, Apple’s iTunes store organizes apps into many categories, but unfortunately shopping isn’t one of them, so mobile users need to be highly motivated and research and find specific mobile shopping applications.

Large retailers have also moved aggressively into the mobile space by offering branded apps that provide information, special offers, and coupons for their customers. Branded retail apps build brand loyalty; however, many advanced mobile shoppers prefer to use multiple shopping apps from a wide variety of developers.

10 Mobile Apps That Are Changing the Shopping Dynamic for Retailers and Consumers:

1. Shopkick has evolved into an outstanding mobile shopping app for both consumers and retailers. Shopkick provides consumers with shopping rewards and offers simply for walking into stores, for scanning products, and for signing up their friends. Shopkick’s concept combines social media sharing with on-the spot location-based rewards and it helps retailers build buzz and customer loyalty. Shopkick users collect “kicks” and bonus offers by checking in at a retailer’s location and by scanning product barcodes at major US retailers that include Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Crate&Barrel, Old Navy, Toys”R”Us, Exxon and Mobil convenience stores. New to version 3.0 is a feature called Lookbooks that groups together deals into categories that enables shoppers to save local deals for when they visit a retailer later. Shopkick also allows users to link their Visa or MasterCard account for mobile payment and collect additional Kicks points toward future purchases. Shopkick is available for Apple iPhone and Android devices.

2. ShopSavvy combines mobile self-checkout with intelligent shopper functionality such as product barcode scanning, product search and special offers. The app’s features include ShopSavvy Wallet which enables on-the-go consumers to scan a product’s barcode and compete a purchase directly using Slide2Pay, a fully integrated mobile transaction technology. ShopSavvy Deals also provides shoppers with location-based deals, rebates, flash sales, and coupon codes. The app’s most recent update includes improved keyword search which makes using the app even faster than previous versions. ShopSavvy is available for Apple’s iPhone, Android and Windows platforms.

3. Placecast’s ShopAlerts are an opt-in, location-based mobile app that delivers targeted information customized for each user based on their location, time, and user preferences. Placecast’s services helps retailers by expanding their reach and increasing their local foot traffic to physical stores. ShopAlerts is offered as a white-label mobile marketing solution that allows retailers to create custom-branded apps that connect with their customers via SMS messages and through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Major brands that have used ShopAlerts include Kiehl’s The Sports Authority, Subway, and Starbucks. Once a user’s ShopAlerts is activated, the service automatically alerts customers about a brand’s local sales, special events, or other relevant information based on their location. Placecast is available for Apple iPhone and Android devices.

4. Point Inside provides indoor destination maps for major malls and airports across the United States and Canada. Point Inside’s maps lets users quickly find stores, gates, kiosks, restrooms, elevators, escalators, and other guest services in more than 800 malls and airports. Point Inside’s app enables retailers to drive additional foot traffic by providing real-time personalized offers, product suggestions, and coupons by pushing information to a user’s mobile device based on their current location. The app enables on-the-go consumers to perform in-store search for products and offers. Point Inside is available for Apple’s iPhone and Android-based devices.

5. aisle411 is a mobile shopping app that uses location-based data to connect shoppers, brands and retailers. For shoppers, aisle411 enables users to pre-plan and organize their shopping trip to save time and money by creating, organizing shopping lists. Users can then take their list and using the app’s search and navigation features complete their shopping at their favorite retailer. aisle411’s app also includes more than 130,000 recipes to add to your shopping list and cookbook. For retailers, aisle411’s proprietary in-store product recommendation engine combines indoor maps, search and navigation to help boost in-store traffic and brand loyalty. aisle411 is available for Apple iPhone and Android-based devices.

6. Fab’s mobile app is unique because it’s aimed at making it easier to find high-end design on-the-go. Fab originally started as an e-commerce website several years ago, but has recently repositioned itself as a mobile-first company. Fab’s mobile app enables users to view daily design highlighted in their Feature and New Arrivals section for inspiration and browse through sales and special offers. According to Fab, millions of people around the world use Fab to discover everyday design products at great prices, to connect with the world’s most exciting designers, and to share their favorite design inspirations. Fab’s app is available for Apple iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices.

7. TheFind is a mobile shopping app that ties together online research with on-the-go mobility. Consumers can do their online shopping research on theFind’s website and later access the information using theFind’s mobile shopping app while shopping in-store. Barcode scanning is built in for instant price checks and product information, and the app is also location-aware, pointing users to their nearest retailer’s location. TheFind can also push deals and offers directly to users and includes social media features that enable users to share offers with friends. TheFind is available for Apple iPhone and Android-based devices.

8. CoffeeTable is a mobile catalog shopping app for iPad and iPhone that aggregates leading retailers’ and boutiques’ into a single location for a secure browsing, shopping and purchasing experience. CoffeeTable features more than 150 brands that include Crate and Barrel, Eddie Bauer, Land’s End, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus. According to CoffeeTable, product prices and availability are displayed in real-time to reflect the most updated retailer’s value and inventory, in addition the app enables users to see price comparisons. CoffeeTable is currently only available for Apple’s iPad.

9. Google’s Shopper app enables users to use their smartphone’s camera to locate product information. The app is capable of recognizing books, CDs, DVDs, and video game packaging and can also scan product barcodes to access Google’s product database. The app enables users to search for products using voice recognition simply by speaking the name of the product they’re looking for. Google’s Shopper app stores a user’s history directly on a user’s phone so product and price information are always available even if there’s no cell service available. The latest version of Google Shopper (3.2) includes refinements to product search enabling users to filter their results by price, brand, or store location. Google Shopper includes a browser that lets users visit a retailer’s website and find the nearest location, and it includes social media access to Facebook, Twitter, GMail, and instant messaging. Google’s Shopper app is available for Apple’s iPhone and Android-based smartphones.

10. eBay Mobile’s RedLaser, a mobile barcode scanning app enables smartphone users to immediately find out, through a single scan, which retailers nearby currently have a product in stock and who has the best local price. Their RedLaser app provides access to coupons and deals from hundreds of retailers as well as product reviews. eBay has become one of the biggest players in the mobile shopping space, with downloads of their suite of mobile apps surpassing 162 million since launching in 2008. eBay made several important acquisitions in the last few years that include Critical Path Software, a leading mobile application developer and RedLaser. They also purchased which provides real-time product inventory. eBay has combined Milo’s local shopping results with RedLaser’s barcode-scanning capabilities into a single application for smartphone users and is available for download from Apple’s iTunes App Store, Windows Phone, and Android Market.

More Than 33 Million Americans Use Their Mobile Phone for Shopping-Related ActivitiesThe apps and services included above could have easily been extended to more than double the number listed. The mobile shopping space has expanded rapidly and we encourage you to explore further. Other areas to look at include mobile loyalty apps such as CardStar and Scanaroo. Mobile coupon providers such as MobiQpons and Coupon Shera offer an array of options for retailers to connect with consumers. Mobile payment platforms such as Square, GoPago, and Intuit’s GoPayment are changing how consumer transactions are handled at the point-of-sale.

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