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ShopSavvy, NearbyNow extend mobile commerce apps to iPad

As soon as Apple announced its newest creation, the iPad, application developers such as NearbyNow and Big in Japan announced plans to extend their products to the new platform.

Big in Japan’s ShopSavvy, a bar code scanning mobile application, will make its way over to the iPad with the same shopping assistant functionality it has on the iPhone and Google’s Android. The developer expects the tablet and ShopSavvy to be a constant shopping companion.

“The iPad offers ShopSavvy the real estate necessary for a complete shopping experience,” said Alexander Muse, cofounder of Big in Japan, Dallas. “Combine the local and online pricing results with a dashboard of product data including videos, news, side-by-side product comparisons and other data and you get a very rich experience. 

“The iPhone or Android smartphone running ShopSavvy can act as a barcode scanning peripheral – what you scan with your phone appears on the product dashboard on your iPad,” he said. “This can work with 1D and 2D barcodes. 

“The experience should be very exciting.”

The ShopSavvy smartphone application enables users to comparison shop on the go with information on more than 20 million products from more than 20,000 retailers worldwide.

For the iPad, there will be add-on cameras that consumers can use to scan a product, but until those products become available the user can manually enter the product name, part number or UPC, or scan the item with a synchronized iPhone or Android device.

Mr. Muse said there is a lot of interesting data Big in Japan could show the mobile user, but cannot because the limited amount of space on the smartphone’s screen.

Many consumers have expressed interest in knowing the environmental impact of products and Big in Japan has that data. With the iPad, it can display it in a useful way without overwhelming users.

“[The iPad] should increase mobile spending, really encroaching on the gaming, eBook and entertainment spaces,” Mr. Muse said.

NearbyNow takes magazine content to iPad
NearbyNow, developers of branded iPhone applications for publications such as GQ, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, will extend its development capabilities to include the iPad as a way for consumers to discover new fashions and items while on the go.

The NearbyNow iPhone platform drives and measures both online and in-store sales from mobile devices. Top magazine brands have developed applications that help readers find products featured in their publications and in turn sell targeted advertising to mobile shoppers that are actively shopping.

“The iPad has the potential to reinvent the magazine,” said Scott Dunlap, CEO of NearbyNow, Mountain View, CA. “We want our clients to be able to do more than show a static page on this device, and take advantage of the fact it is connected, geolocated and has a large format.

“The extensions will create tappable ads that can show you all the products a model is wearing and where to find it near you,” he said.

IPhone applications on the NearbyNow platform average 21 percent click-through and 5.8 percent conversion to purchase. Mr. Dunlap said those numbers indicate that mobile shoppers are craving the capability it offers.

Mr. Dunlap said the iPad makes magazine content much more useful.

“There is an opportunity to create premium content that is fully engaging, and that’s what will allow magazines to charge a premium,” Mr. Dunlap said. “Why charge the same CPM rate as a static magazine when you can engage readers to trial the product immediately?”