Thursday, November 5, 2009

Iphone Apps helping you to shop

Last month I signed up for an Apple iPhone just like over 20 percent of other mobile phone owners. The Australian smartphone market share in the past 12 months has placed Apple in 2nd place behind Nokia and ahead of Blackberry.

Living in Melbourne I was in the position to take advantage of a competitive data rate offered by a telco carrier focused mainly on metro areas, so it was an easy decision financially for me when rolling over my mobile contract to go iPhone.

What has been great entertainment and a great distraction to my blogging is the awesome number of free local applications that are available to download. My partner was quick to point out that our local supermarket had an app and we could create our weekly shopping list.

So I went off to the Coles website to find dedicated section promoting the application with in depth details on its features and how the app works. Basically the Coles ShopMate for iPhone allows you to plan your shopping, learn about weekly specials and search for recipes which can be shortlisted with your favourite dishes at the moment I've only loaded Lamb Vindaloo or Spaghetti Bolognese because I could live off theses two staples all week. It also has the ability to find your local Coles by your postcode and proves directions for those who don't live across the road to find your nearest store with a list of individual specials available to that particular location.

Using the ShopMate shopping list you can automatically build as many shopping lists as you like for any occasion such as your weekly shopping, a party list or summer holiday shop.

I envision this ShopMate feature may one day connect with the smart shopping trolleys currently being tested by Coles, Woolworths and IGA that have their own checkout consoles attached to allow you to download your iPhone shopping list to the smart trolley connected via a WiFi network with in-store sensors that alert you when you are approaching an item you wish to buy, as well as providing you with targeted advertising specials as well and an online guide for navigating a shopping route of the store so you don’t have to wander up and down the isles.

This hi tech consumption leads me onto another new technology that allows shoppers to aggregate prices from different shops or retails also using a iPhone app called Lasoo. In essence Lasoo is a search engine that displays current specials from participating catalogues from around Australia. Via their website or iPhone app, Lasoo provides consumers with pre-shop assistance to allow you to compare prices and specials.

Use your iPhone to search and compare products across catalogues, brands and offers from retailers when you are out shopping or just laying back on the couch. Ylike the ShopMate it also has a find the store locator to identify the closest stockist and also get a map view, opening times and retailer contact details so that way you don't even have to go into the shop to start shopping which is perfect for a hunter style consumer such as me who likes to get in and get out of the shop as quickly as possible.

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