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Walmart’s price-comparison tool catapults app downloads to new heights

The addition of Walmart’s Savings Catcher feature to its mobile application earlier this week pushed the app to the top of the Lifestyle category on the Apple App Store for the first time.

The news points to the significant potential that lies in the convergence mobile and consumers’ love for a good deal as well as how bricks-and-mortar retailers can embrace in-store price comparisons. Savings Catcher is a receipt comparison tool designed to take the work out of finding the best price for an item.

“What’s really important here is that Savings Catcher is really an opportunity for us to build a deeper level of trust with our customers because today as other competitors are using high/low on particular items and customers are having to run to one store versus another, that’s very inconvenient and time consuming,” said Jeff Davis, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Walmart, at a recent conference.

Automatic price check
Savings Catcher launched earlier this year on desktop and was rolled out to the Walmart app for the first time earlier this week, helping to make it the most downloaded app in the Lifestyle category on the Apple App Store.

To use Savings Catcher, customers enter their receipt number or scan the bar code on their receipt using the Walmart app. Savings Catcher automatically looks at the items purchased at Walmart and compares the prices paid for those items to the advertised prices in the weekly print ads of local retailers.

If Savings Catcher finds an advertised price that is lower than what was paid for the same item at Walmart, the customer receives a Walmart eGift Card for the difference.

Digital receipts platform
Savings Catcher is a central component of a new digital receipt platform rolling out Walmart stores this year that is designed to help customers store digital receipts on the retailer’s app and interact with the content in a variety of ways, including to build shopping lists.

There is a strong mobile component running throughout the ereceipts program, which Walmart views as an important strategy for innovating the in-store experience via digital strategies (see story).

Savings Catcher is just the latest example of how Walmart is building out its mobile strategy.

Earlier this week, the retailer unveiled a revamped Web site, with mobile a key focus in terms of delivery, greater personalization and other new features (see story).

In June, Walmart acquired location-based shopping app Stylr in a reflection of its focus on mobile to enhance the in-store experience (see story). 

Savings Catcher is another example of how Walmart is enhancing the in-store experience with mobile and one with an early strong response.

“We’re seeing more frequent trips and ultimately increased spending along the way,” Mr. Davis said. “So we’re really excited about this.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York