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ShopSavvy update pits price against in-store experience and loyalty

ShopSavvy, a mobile shopping application that incorporates barcode scanning as its primary search function, has undergone an update which brings a new kind of accessibility to pricing, product specs and customer reviews.

Mobile has increasingly turned products into commodities by making it nearly impossible for savvy shoppers to miss a deal, and online incentives such as home delivery and next-day shipping have stolen some of the incentives for consumers to purchase in-store. ShopSavvy’s revamp taps real-time savings and enables users to track sales from their favorite brands and stores in one central space, further eroding of the importance of store loyalty and the in-store experience.

“People don’t want to sort through emails from 10 or 20 different stores each month to track the products and brands that they are interested in,” said John Boyd, CEO of ShopSavvy.

“We don’t just aggregate deals on the store level but down the product SKU level to help users who check for sales and deals daily. We make it possible for consumers to get the information they want on just the items they want, with all the sales in one place.

“Let’s say that a shopper is interested in a new pair of jeans from just a few of their favorite brands. Using ShopSavvy to follow those brands or a particular SKU, the shopper can be notified when any store is having a sale, without having to check all the stores that sell those brands,” he said.

The app houses sales information from over half a million retail partners, up from less than 40,000 last year.

Price is king
ShopSavvy empowers smartphone users to quickly and seamlessly locate, research and buy products at the point of sale.

When users scan a barcode or input a product name, they discover where the item is sold locally and online, where it’s in stock and at what price. ShopSavvy also aggregates product data, deals, ratings and reviews from retailers, partners and its own users to provide the most comprehensive source of information and advice for mobile shoppers.

The app’s update allows consumers to now follow specific items or brands and find out when those products go on sale from any participating retailers. Users can also view the up-to-the-second best price to know exactly how much they’re saving, and swipe left/right on products to enable easier comparison-shopping.

“The new product page makes it very easy for people to browse related products with a simple swipe while making relevant sale information visible from the main screen,” Mr. Boyd said.

“Our customers want new ways to save time and money and this update allows them to see all the sales from their favorite stores in one place.   Shoppers will never miss a Nordstrom semiannual sale or a Macy’s sale on INC jeans because ShopSavvy does deal alerts at the store, brand and product level.”

More photos and videos for products have been added, users can read long-form reviews and ratings of products, as well as tips and opinions from the global ShopSavvy community in new global social feed that crowd sources deals.

“The product page is an epic evolution from where we were a year ago in terms of content, ease of use and browsability. We’ve surfaced global community content for the first time in the history of the company. Community sales times or actions are visible on the product page itself,” Mr. Boyd said.

A 2013 report by Pew Research shows that 56 percent of United States consumers own a smartphone, giving them instant access to the Internet and every product that can be found online.

Although mobile’s immersion in  everyday shopping activities may be seen as a threat, it provides retailers a valuable opportunity to embrace the channel as an asset and use it to foster the biggest advantage a bricks-and-mortar store has to offer: personalized, superior-level customer service.

Finding new strengths
With the near ubiquity of mobile, retailers have been forced to rethink how they do business at a store level, and more effectively compete with online retailers.

Through this process, many bricks-and-mortar retailers have returned to their roots, cultivating an environment of exceptional customer service and providing a greater degree of efficiency to customers’ lives.

Some stores such as Macy’s have found ways to make in-store shopping a more social experience and connect it to a consumer’s digital world. Macy’s developed a “Magic Fitting Room” that made it possible for in-store customers to virtually try on the latest styles on Macy’s Hot List and share their favorite looks to their social channels instantly.

In just six weeks, Macy’s saw more customers’ in-store, with more than 16,000 customers participating in this social retailing experience

One way to provide efficiency and utility to consumers’ lives is by allowing them to make purchases online while at the office or running errands and pick-up in store. This is something Walmart has been doing for a long time, and with immense success.

Another tactic is just-in-time advertising: once a customer enters the store, whether to showroom or shop, mobile gives retailers a way to surprise and delight, keeping the consumer in the store longer.

Bricks-and-mortar retailers must embrace mobile beyond price comparison and target consumers who are not solely driven by price. Engaging mobile consumers with tools such as inventory availability, real-time personalized offers, personal shoppers, and self-checkout will make the difference between retail success and failure in the new mobile economy according to Yankee Group.

Allowing consumers to tap into inventory and other pertinent data could be a huge benefit to traditional retailers. The immediacy factor of being able to make purchases instantly, or the same day, can be a powerful motivational factor for brick-and-mortars that they should use to their advantage to combat ShopSavvy and other companion apps.

“We are definitely seeing retailer sites improve, but generally we believe online and local shopping is evolving where more and more new customers are coming from retail aggregators,”  Mr. Boyd said.

“We’re working to innovate in providing this info in more useful ways for users to save time and money.”

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York