By Pete Rizzo, Writer/Editor (@pete_rizzo_)
Billing itself as the “number one mobile shopping app” and promising users a full “red carpet experience,” ShopSavvy shouldered some hefty expectations when it announced that it was expanding its mobile shopping app earlier this month.
The all-new version for iOS mobile devicesd, unveiled on May 16, boasted redesigned navigation features, easier list creation and a revamped product discovery platform. Still, in spite of its 40 million downloads, you may not be familiar with how ShopSavvy is seeking to improve your shopping experience.
To get you up-to-date on the app and whether it lives up to the hype, PYMNTS.com took it for a test drive, so you can determine whether this free app is worth your hard drive space.
What is ShopSavvy?
According to a company press release, “ShopSavvy empowers smartphone users to quickly and seamlessly locate, research and buy products at the point of sale.” This means that you can simply scan a barcode or input a product name to discover where to purchase the item, whether it’s in stock at a nearby location or it’s more affordable online.
While this sounds great in practice, I’ve downloaded shopping apps before that promised to be easy to use, so I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical as it loaded on my iPhone. But as you’lI see below, I was soon to be pleasantly surprised.
After downloading the app, you’ll be taken on a tour of the new site features. Not having visited the site previously, I skipped through this section. From here, you’ll be asked if the app can use your current location, which is a must to really take advantage of the full range of comparative features on the site we’ll get into later on.
Once enabled, your home screen will be pretty empty, displaying no history – though this will fill in with use – and you might not be certain how to proceed. You have two options: searching for products by clicking the top left button and typing in a conventional search bar, or scanning a barcode from the top right of the navigation bar.
Searching For Products With ShopSavvy
Since I’m traveling next week, I’m in drastic need of a good neck pillow. After all, who wants to be stuck fighting for those wispy freebees from the airlines? So deciding on a product to search for was a no-brainer. Once I entered the term into the search bar, a host of products displayed. I selected the Cabeau Travel Evolution Pillow in black, because it looks like luxury and hey, its a long flight.
This is where the app really kicks into high gear. The top portion of the screen displayed clear, high-resolution pictures of the product, showing how the pillow all but erases your neck in what I can only imagine is pure comfortable bliss. Below, I see that it’s not available in any local stores, but that it’s on sale at seven online locations. I select “Online,” and voila, all the web merchants selling the item are immediately displayed.
While most of the stores are offering it at a flat $34.95 – except for eBay where it’s listed at almost double the price – I can definitely see how this could inform my purchase if the prices weren’t consistent.
Pros: The ability to view reviews directly on the page, see related products, set alerts so I can be notified when prices change, bookmark the page, flag it for error and share.
Cons: Advertisements on the page.
Searching For Products By Barcode
The app also lets you search by scanning a barcode. I try this out later at a convenience store when I spot on old copy of Jim Carrey’s “The Mask.” (Come on, it’s a classic, and I need something for the flight.) Since this is an older item, meaning it’s available online, at local stores and in new and used conditions, this scan really lights up the features.
Even better, it processes the code quickly. I’m still standing in line and I’m reviewing the price of the product at stores four miles away! Using the local function, I see that the nearby Barnes & Noble has “The Mask” for $2.99. To think, if I went to Best Buy, I would have had to shell out $12.99! That’s real savings.
It gets even better when I search for online listings. Here I can see that Walmart is offering the DVD new for only $10.87, less than Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, and Amazon and eBay have new copies even cheaper.
Pros: Map allows me to see where local stores are, while providing me with the phone number and driving directions. Full product descriptions. From main screen I can learn details like the film’s director, the DVD’s audio quality and the movie’s original MPAA rating.
Cons: Slower load times when accessing third-party sites.
Overall, I’d say this app is a keeper. I’m definitely looking forward to using this in the coming weeks, especially for essential purchases where real savings can be found.