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Yellow Pages app streamlines shopping with product search feature

The Yellow Pages mobile application is rolling out a feature that enables users to pinpoint locations of products at a variety of major retailers, including Macy’s, Home Depot and Walmart.

Yellow Pages teamed up with app developer Avantar to design the search function, which displays prices of a specific item and a list of stores carrying it for mobile shoppers. The brand has been reinventing itself from its previous reputation as a phone directory by revamping its mobile app to act as a top mcommerce resource, complete with coupons and user reviews.

“Customers are continually looking for ways to simplify their lives,” said Mark Ghermezian, co-founder and CEO of Appboy, New York. “Product search features offer an ease of use and when tied in with multiple retailers, they can compare prices and availability, ensuring they get the best deal available locally.”

Accurate results
Consumers are able to search inventories of many major brands and retailers that the app is connected to, such as RadioShack, Best Buy, Macy’s, Walmart and hundreds more. Rather than visit several of these stories in pursuit of a specific item, a user can input the item into the app and immediately receive a slew of nearby options guaranteed to carry that product, along with pricing information.

The products can also be purchased online. The Yellow Pages app has seen millions of user downloads, prompting more than 10 million product searches each month.

Yellow Pages is seeking to combat last-minute holiday shopping stress with the app. Shoppers using the product search function do not need to wait in cashier lines or call individual stores to check item availability when inventories typically run low.

“Users are quickly adapting to mobile shopping,” Mr. Ghermezian said. “As apps incorporate more features allowing users to easily compare products, pricing and availability they will become even more accustom to shopping via apps.”

The app is designed for both Android and Apple platforms.

Business-friendly app
The Yellow Pages app strives to connect users with local businesses and retailers. The Canadian branch of Yellow Pages drove local commerce ahead of the holidays with its “Shop the Neighborhood” mobile campaign, which encouraged consumers to support local merchants between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (see story).

The corporate social responsibility push was designed in a bid to curb some of the cross-border and online shopping that negatively affects Canadian local businesses. Participating stores were listed within the Canadian mobile app, alongside mobile offers and incentives to shop locally.

The Yellow Pages app offers a slew of mobile coupons for local businesses and major retailers. Voice navigation and store contact information is also available for on-the-go shoppers.

Food fans can view menus and make a restaurant reservation within the app, and rate and review favorite hotspots. Frequently visited establishments can be added to the “Favorites” category for easy access.

Ultimately, Yellow Pages’ app aims to make shopping in the holiday weeks as streamlined as possible for busy consumers. With the product search feature, major shopping research can be done from any location, at any time.

“Customers are looking for retailers to provide real-time information on products and inventory,” Mr. Ghermezian said. “Competitors who are sharing this information are simplifying the shopping process and will likely build a stronger customer base.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York