More consumers are tapping into smartphones to compare prices in brick-and-mortar store aisles. In fact, research completed via smartphones influences 5.1% of annual retail store sales, translating to a forecasted $159 billion for 2012, according to research from Deloitte Consulting. This influence is expected to grow to 19%, or $689 billion in brick-and-mortar transactions, by 2016.
To keep pace with this challenging trend in mobile price comparison, Best Buy is extending product, pricing and deal information to more smartphone users by integrating its application programming interface (API) into the ShopSavvy Wallet mobile shopping application.
The ShopSavvy Wallet for iPhone and Android allows consumers to scan items in brick-and-mortar stores, compare prices to inventory from competitors aggregated in the app, and even complete online purchases directly through their smartphones. ShopSavvy also delivers warranty offers, relevant deals, promotions and other geo-targeted content to consumers, increasing engagement and overall purchase likelihood.
As of Oct. 1, 2012, more than 10 million active users were accessing product information and prices on ShopSavvy while browsing in brick-and-mortar stores. Moreover, a variety of major retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, JCPenney, Nordstrom, Toys “R” Us and Walmart, currently are sharing their inventory, pricing information, ratings/reviews and deals through the app.
By incorporating the internally-developed API into the ShopSavvy Wallet, Best Buy now can offer shoppers more locally-relevant deals and better reach mobile-savvy consumers, Steve Bendt, Director of Emerging Platforms for Best Buy, told Retail TouchPoints.
“We know not everyone goes to a Best Buy brick-and-mortar store or our e-Commerce site to purchase consumer electronics. They use other resources to get information, as well, especially online and via mobile,” Bendt said. “We developed this API so we can extend our products and services to more mobile customers, allowing them to receive information when they’re searching for specific products.”
The API was developed by BBYOPEN, an internal group established to provide Best Buy partners with technology infrastructure and access to the retailer’s commerce systems. As a result, partners such as ShopSavvy have instant access to detailed information on more than one million current and historical products, inventory pricing and reviews, and up-to-date offers and specials.
The partnership between Best Buy and ShopSavvy began in 2009, when the multichannel retailer first integrated its products into the price comparison engine. The relationship then developed further, Bendt explained, to help Best Buy provide optimal content, resources and knowledge that help consumers make better purchasing decisions.
“We began our relationship with ShopSavvy to deliver Best Buy product pricing information to customers regardless of their locations, to assure we were part of their product consideration sets,” Bendt noted. “Now we have the ability to make that experience more seamless: If consumers are using their mobile devices, they can find our products at any time. And with payment now integrated into the app, shoppers can complete a purchase through their mobile devices, allowing us to increase overall conversions.”