Mobile shopping goes social: ShopSavvy gets ready for Christmas
Now that Hallowe’en is safely behind us, the way is clear for shopping season. And app developers have no intention of being left out of the Christmas frenzy. Popular shopping and barcode comparison app ShopSavvy has just announced that the latest version of it’s application is now available on iTunes – and claims that the new social shopping features offer “Wikipedia-style” crowdsourcing for shoppers.
Before we get into the new features, let’s take a re-cap of ShopSavvy. Developed by Big In Japan, it’s a price-comparison application for shoppers that works through scanning product barcodes. For users, the way it works is incredibly simple. Once you’ve got the app installed on your phone, it uses your camera to scan the barcode (including 2d codes) on any product you can see. ShopSavvy then connects to its servers, and checks the prices for that product in every shop and retailer it can find – including on-line sources.
So, for example, if you’re shopping for a new TV and you want to make sure that you’re getting the best price, you can scan the code right there on the shop floor with ShopSavvy. It will tell you how much competing retailers are selling the same TV for, as well as on-line retailers.
That’s the core offering. There are a host of add-ons that go with it, like reviews, recommendations for similar products, directions to other shops, etc.
When it first launched ShopSavvy was an Android-only app, and it has been massively popular on that platform. Since then it has launched on iPhone, WinMo, Windows Phone, etc.
What’s the update?
ShopSavvy currently has around 6.5 million users – and since it’s primarily a shopping app that you use while you’re physically in a store, Christmas is no doubt the biggest time of year for it. Big In Japan is predicting that its users will run over 100 million scans by Christmas, and the most significant updates in ShopSavvy 4 are the ones that allow all those users to share their views with each other:
Add products: if you scan a product that isn’t in the ShopSavvy database, you can now add it. You take a snap of the item, and include the price, store and any other info you want. And, yes, ShopSavvy filters these before they get added to the main database.
Ratings and reviews: ShopSavvy already offers links to product reviews, but now users can create their own and share them with other ShopSavvy users.
Social networking: if you’ve scanned something you think is a genuinely good deal, you can now ping it to Facebook and Twitter. Find a hot deal? Tell all your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks with a tap of your screen.
There are other additions, like being able to search by product name, and the addition of a twitter-like “deals” stream, but it’s the social features that are the star of ShopSavvy 4.
What we think?
The actual core offering of ShopSavvy is pretty hard to improve on. You scan the code, you get the comparison list. ShopSavvy 4 is really about polish. The sheen of social networking, crowd interaction, and posting reviews has been added to the app – something that’s always a crowd pleaser. I do find it interesting that this update has been pushed through for iPhone before Android, considering the strong Android-roots of the app, but Big In Japan assures us that the Android version will be available before Black Friday.
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