November 11, 2009, 12:00 AM

New iPhone app allows shoppers to browse gift guides and buy items Nearby

Mobile concierge service NearbyNow has launched a holiday gift guide, an iPhone app that brings together a group of magazines and retailers into one mobile gift guide. Shoppers can select products and retailers place them on hold for in-store pickup.


Just as the holiday shopping season has begun to take off, mobile concierge service NearbyNow has launched the NearbyNow Holiday Gift Guide, an iPhone app that brings together a group of magazines and retailers into one mobile gift guide.

Built on the NearbyNow iPhone Platform, the holiday gift guide is designed to be a one-stop shop that aggregates products from fashion and lifestyle magazines and fashion retailers’ gift guides. With the app, when shoppers select products they wish to buy, retailers place them on hold for in-store pickup. Or, shoppers can be directed to a retailer’s web site to make the purchase.

To create the gift guide, NearbyNow worked with Seventeen, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, All You, Real Simple, Sunset, Details, Southern Living and Cooking Light magazines to fold their holiday gift selections into the app. In addition, it added gift guides from such retailers as Nordstrom, Bon-Ton, Macy’s, Charlotte Russe and Buckle.

“This holiday season, probably more than any other in recent history, retailers must find new ways to make shopping and buying more appealing to consumers,” says Barbara Schrantz, executive vice president of sales promotion and marketing at The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. “We believe that building a multichannel experience is the best way to meet this objective, and NearbyNow has managed to bring together an impressive array of publishers and retailers into an iPhone app for holiday shopping. It’s the most creative and unique way we’ve seen to deliver that multichannel experience to the consumer.”

Shoppers can browse the gift guide either directly within a magazine or retailer’s guide or by choosing from a variety of demographic and lifestyle criteria. For example, shoppers can choose to see a list of products across retailers for men or women, within a certain price range or based on specific interests.

Once they find products they wish to investigate further or purchase, they simply tap the Find Nearby button at the bottom of an iPhone screen and NearbyNow’s concierge service ensures the item is in stock at the nearest store. NearbyNow sends customers e-mail verifications, typically within 10 minutes, and the customer can stop by the store and purchase the item. There also is a Find Online option for shoppers who prefer to buy online.

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