October 16, 2013, 1:43 PM

The ShopSavvy app gets an update—again

In its third update this year, ShopSavvy adds more personalization and sharing features.

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The app developers and engineers at shopping app ShopSavvy haven’t gotten much rest this year. They’ve been busy updating the app with new features. The mobile app this week has released ShopSavvy 8, its third update in 2013.

The refreshed app, available on Apple Inc.’s iPhone and smartphones using Google Inc.’s Android mobile operating system, includes “activity streams,” similar to a Facebook news feed, that notify shoppers when the price on a product they follow drops, when a shopper makes a comment on a product a consumer is following, or when new products are added to a featured list a consumer is watching in the app. Featured lists group together related products under headings such as “For the Home” or “Cool Video Games.”

The app also now integrates with Gmail and Facebook, enabling ShopSavvy users to share products they are interested in via e-mail or with their friends on the social network.

Other updates include more product images, descriptions and videos. The app also now contains higher-quality, faster-loading images and videos, ShopSavvy says.

To use ShopSavvy, consumers scan a bar code or input a product name to see where the item is sold at a store nearby and online, where it's in stock, and at what price. ShopSavvy aggregates product data, deals, ratings and reviews from retailers and from consumers who have the ShopSavvy app to help mobile shoppers find the best prices on items they want.

Consumers can make online purchases of products offered at select retailers, including Walmart.com, Target.com and BestBuy.com, through the ShopSavvy wallet in the app. Consumers register their payment information with the digital wallet to check out quickly via the app. ShopSavvy collects commissions from retailers on purchases made through the digital wallet. It also makes money from ads in the app. Using a smartphone’s geolocation technology, stores, for example, can advertise sales on products a consumer is searching for when she is nearby.

The updated app also now enables shoppers to search for products by attributes, such as “women’s brown leather wedge sandals.” About 70% of ShopSavvy’s product inventory is also now searchable by product attributes rather than the specific product name, says John Boyd, CEO and co-founder of ShopSavvy. “Consumers have been asking us for new ways to organize products and this is just one way we are improving product organization for our customers,” he says.

The new version of the app also includes items that do not have UPC bar codes, Boyd says. UPC, or Universal Product Code, is the bar code format widely used on consumer products. To index and organize products without UPC bar codes, ShopSavvy has created its own ShopSavvy product IDs. “These products are accessible via keyword search, the browse feature, and through the platform’s new feed system,” Boyd says. “We needed a way to organize products that did not have a bar code. The system needed to organize all products, UPC and non-UPC, as they relate to each other as well as provide a better taxonomy and classification system.” Products that don't have UPC codes are mostly clothing and home goods, as well as crafts from marketplace Etsy, ShopSavvy says.

In addition, consumers using ShopSavvy now can access more local store coupons and online promotional codes they can use to nab discounts at online stores through ShopSavvy’s new partnership with coupon aggregator RetailMeNot.

ShopSavvy says its app has been downloaded more than 40 million times, and that it worked to make these latest app updates available in advance of the holiday shopping season.

In other updates earlier this year, ShopSavvy added more than 10,000 videos of men's and women's shoes, clothing and accessories, and added more images per product. Now some products have more than 10 images and multiple videos, ShopSavvy says. Other enhancements made to the app earlier this year include 30% more deals from retailers including Sam’s Club and Books-A-Million and a Related Products feature that helps shoppers find products similar to what they are searching for. Also this year, ShopSavvy added the ability for app users to flag incorrect or incomplete product data and the option to then modify the product with, for example, the correct name or a different image. Consumers can also now submit prices for items they see at local stores if the price for the item from that store is missing.

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