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EBay updates RedLaser app to connect users to product information

EBay has added QR code scanning and listings from eBay Marketplaces and to its RedLaser iPhone application to provide consumers with up-to-date product information on the go.

When users scan a QR code they are redirected to information on a certain product. Consumers can receive relevant information such as links to videos, product reviews or Web sites to get more product information.

“It’s all about consumer engagement,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of platform business solutions and mobile at eBay, San Jose, CA. “We want RedLaser –  and eBay apps that feature RedLaser technology like our app – to be the first thing people think of when looking for online product information.

“And QR codes are a growing means of brands and retailers connecting with their customers to share all kinds of product information,” he said. “Providing that means of engagement opens up new opportunities for eBay to be a part of that engagement.”

EBay connects hundreds of millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, which claims to be the world’s largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to send and receive online and mobile payments.

Mobile bar codes
Using the bar codes, consumers can get contact information for customer support and calendar appointments for upcoming sporting events and concerts.

In addition to the bar codes, eBay is updating RedLaser’s software development kit.

The updated SDK will let developers create mobile experiences by providing support for VIN bar code scanning; Code 128 for gift card scanning, Code 39 for encoding uppercase letters A through Z, digits 0 through 9, as well as several special characters that are used to keep track of high-end merchandise such as laptops.

Other endeavors
Earlier this month, eBay debuted its first application for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system, with a personal shopping experience tailored for the mobile platform.

Users can search, bid, buy and check their eBay buying and selling activity via the application. The company is using Windows Phone 7’s push notification technology to let users receive real-time alerts on deals and best-offer activity (see story).

Additionally, in August, the company released a iPhone application that targets back-to-school shoppers (see story).

“First, people are likely to use RedLaser’s UPC barcode scanning capability to find the best deal for the product they’re looking for,” Mr. Yankovich said. “Second, knowing what millions of people are scanning and how they are using QR codes adds great insight into our already deep understanding of what mobile consumers are doing on their phones.

“Lastly, by letting people do many other things with our RedLaser and eBay apps than shopping on eBay, we’re increasing the usage of our apps which is a good thing,” he said. “In the app business, it’s critical you’re giving customers a reason to go back to your app again and again. This does that in a very fun new way.”