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Yahoo Shopping launches mobile commerce app for iPhone

Yahoo Inc. has launched a mobile commerce application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch.

The application lets consumers search and buy from Yahoo’s catalog of products. Primarily the application functions as a tool for comparison shopping, but the application also features click-to-buy links to the Web sites of Yahoo’s merchant partners such as Target, Nordstrom, Amazon and Fossil.

“[The strategy is] to put the power of price comparison into the hands of consumers while they shop,” said Greg Hintz, general manager and North America business lead at Yahoo Shopping, Sunnyvale, CA. “It is a tool for them to make sure they’re getting the best price possible whether they’re out at a store or planning a shopping outing.”

Yahoo Inc. provides Internet services worldwide and is known for Web portal, search engine and email services.

Yahoo Shopping is Yahoo’s price comparison shopping service.

Mobile commerce for convenience
Inside the application, consumers can calculate tax and shipping costs, check ratings and reviews on products, share products with friends via email and bookmark products for future review.

When a consumer starts searching for products, Yahoo’s search assistant suggests items the consumer may be looking for.

Consumers can also search via UPC code by entering in the code in the search bar.

Mr. Hintz said that Yahoo Shopping is targeted at tech-savvy consumers who are looking to save time and money.

“We’re trying to make it convenient for time-constrained, price-conscious shoppers to find what they’re looking for quickly,” Mr. Hintz said.

Mr. Hintz also said that the application is all about convenience for consumers.

Retailers need to be wherever the consumer is researching and/or looking to purchase products, Mr. Hintz said.

Mr. Hintz said that the personal nature of mobile devices with consumers so it made sense to extend commerce to this platform and be at the fingertips of Yahoo’s consumers. 

“We believe that mobile commerce will continue to grow, and users will shop on the go at an increasing rate,” Mr. Hintz said.

With the application, on-the-go consumers can forget about printing out information and writing down the different online prices to take to the retail location.

While consumers can click-to-buy, Mr. Hintz said that the main feature of Yahoo Shopping is the price comparison and saving products for future reference.

Mr. Hintz also said that the mobile Internet usage is booming.

“Mobile Internet usage – both through a browser and through apps – is skyrocketing in terms of consumer adoption,” Mr. Hintz said. “Yahoo is seeing meaningful users and high engagement levels on our mobile homepage and apps like Fantasy Football, Flickr, Finance and etcetera.

“We’re extending the shopping experience beyond the PC and connecting consumers with the same Internet experiences they know and love, regardless of where they are,” he said. “Mobile needs to be an important part of any successful Internet strategy; with mobile devices outnumbering PCs four-to-one globally, and sophisticated mobile devices becoming mainstream, more and more users are accessing content on their phone. 

“In order to grow your audience you need to be where the consumers are – the future of the Internet is mobile.”