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ShopSavvy creates 3,000 navigational categories to better inspire shoppers

ShopSavvy is stepping up its effort to cater to shoppers looking for buying inspiration on mobile by expanding its navigational categories to more than 3,000 from roughly 50.

The expansion lets users drill down to specific and personalized categories for items, such as dresses, which can become as specific as two-tone dresses, backless dresses and sun dresses. The move points to the importance of helping consumers use mobile devices for inspiration and idea generation in the shopping journey and not just as a way to compare prices.

“We believe the future of mobile is about providing hyper targeted offers to mobile shoppers in the store they are in, all with one-click checkout,” said John Boyd, CEO for ShopSavvy, San Francisco, CA.

“Users are already bombarded by a massive amount of marketing that is often at best tangentially relevant,” he said. “We think our shoppers will be turning away from any of these offers that don’t show a high degree of personalization and relevance.

Aggregating sales
Since ShopSavvy aggregates sales from more than 500,000 retailers across the nation, its database of products and apparel is expansive. With so many choices it can be difficult for consumers to browse for things that interest them.

ShopSavvy is phasing in the navigational restructuring over the next several weeks to avoid confusing its user base.

Using mobile for inspiration and idea-generation.

First, users tap on a category which interests them to see a display of related products. Then, they continue to refine their product searches.

What may start out as a search in the category of women’s clothing can drill all the way down to what kind of dress that user may be looking for, such as a sun dress, a two tone dress, a black dress or a summer dress.

“After just a few product searches on ShopSavvy, we develop a persona for that user that helps us understand the kinds of offers they will find interesting,” Mr. Boyd said.

While ShopSavvy has traditional categories such as “electronics”, it has new categories such as “Fitbit.”

The system also learns about related categories based on what shoppers actually do in-store, which over time will help evolve the products in each category.

“The system can learn which products should be grouped together based on what users are searching for,” Mr. Boyd said.

“There’s no question we still see a lot of product searches based on traditional direct searches, but for the first time, discovery-based product page views are now getting much higher user traffic for the first time in the history of the app.”

ShopSavvy makes money by showing unique targeted offers and tying those to in-store product searches. It does not take payment to promote one sale, deal or product over another, unlike paid search.

In April ShopSavvy streamlined bargain-hunting with an application for the Apple Watch that tapped geolocation technology to alert wearers of sales in-store or nearby.

Users could create wish lists and set sales alerts for specific products or brands, making a shopping list just a wrist swipe away.

Generating inspiration
ShopSavvy’s navigational restructuring ties in with a Deloitte study which suggested that consumers are turning to mobile more for inspiration and idea generation in the shopping journey and not just as a way to compare prices.

Striving to offer personalization and relevance.

“We’ve been working on this technology now for 2.5 years which has been a significant undertaking,” Mr. Boyd said. “It’s had serendipitous impacts on things like related products, product search, offer targeting systems and our product data itself.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York