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Phone Applications Bring Shopping Utility

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Currently top of the paid Lifestyle section of the App Store on iTunes, this application from MidCentury Software starts to bring some utility to the iPhone for shoppers. It has some shortcomings, but it allows you to create lists for different stores, situations, copy from other lists, add prices for budgeting and so on.

It’s utility like this, as well as branded utility from the likes of Kraft with their iFood Assistant or Shazam with their music look up application, that is driving the use of technology, its adoption into our culture and increasingly how we shop.

It’s really important though to think about what the role your brand might play in bringing such utility to an audience. Based on our experience there are a number of things to consider.

  • How does it add value to your audience?
  • Is it relevant to them?
  • Does it leverage your content to enhance the expedience for the user?
  • How much work do they have to put in to use it?

The apps that really get it right make something useful for their audience such that they share some of their personal information, are happy to be marketed too and be willing to pay for it.

So there’s real opportunity for retailers to link their back-end systems to this type of application so that users can see real time prices and availability in store. Now that would be useful because, if people are prepared to pay for an application that requires lots of manual work, what would it be worth paying to have real-time store data delivered to you? There’s so many great opportunities for the further convergence of the retail and digital spaces.

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