May 12, 2011, 12:33 PM

ShopSavvy tops 9 million users and more than 40,000 merchants

1.3 million consumers began using the ad-supported mobile app last month alone.

Kevin Woodward

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

ShopSavvy says more than 40,000 retailers have products in its database.

ShopSavvy Inc. says the number of unique users of its comparison shopping mobile app has hit 9.3 million thanks to a powerful April during which 1.3 million new users came onboard. ShopSavvy defines a unique user as a consumer who has downloaded and used the app and maintains the app on her smartphone. It does not count users who have deleted the app in its total.

While April’s numbers are considerable, ShopSavvy’s growth has been strong since January, says Alexander Muse, CEO and co-founder. Of the 9.3 million users, two-thirds started using the app this year, he says.

ShopSavvy is a free app that enables consumers to scan bar codes of products and then compare a store’s price with other local merchants and online retailers. A $1.99 version enables consumers to download their scan histories to a file stored in the app.

The application, available in Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Windows Phone 7 and Android app stores, was downloaded 1.9 million times in April, bringing the total number of downloads since the company’s Nov. 2008 launch to 17.9 million.

Muse expects continued growth this year as more consumers buy smartphones and increase their use of the devices. “We’re attributing this shift to consumers changing how they shop,” Muse says. Shoppers are increasingly likely to use a smartphone to find a better price on a product or one that is closer to their location, he says.

ShopSavvy also has gained the attention of more merchants, going from approximately 20 retailers providing pricing and inventory data to ShopSavvy in 2008 to more than 40,000 today, Muse says. Of that 40,000, about 14,000 are web-only retailers; the rest are bricks and mortar.

Because ShopSavvy is an advertising-supported app, merchants pay no fee to provide their product inventory and pricing to ShopSavvy’s database, Muse explains. Advertisers pay between 50 cents to 75 cents each time their ads appear on a scan results page.

Muse also says work is progressing on a mobile wallet for the app dubbed QuickPay 2.0, and that it would be available within weeks.

QuickPay 2.0 will offer mobile wallet features to enable point-of-sale purchases via Near Field Communication, or NFC, technology. But retailers would have to have NFC chip-reading technology at the point of sale and mobile devices must have an embedded NFC chip to conduct such transactions, in which the consumer waves a phone past a payment terminal. Few merchants or smartphones are prepared for NFC.

The payment feature also will enable consumers to use credit and debit cards, Muse says. Currently, QuickPay 1.0, introduced in January for iPhone and Android smartphones, only works with web-only retailers and then only if both the consumer and the merchant have PayPal accounts.

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