While the social network isn’t doing away with its direct-sale initiative, it is focusing its attention on ads that drive consumers to retailers’ sites.
InstaBuy, a new feature in the comparison shopping app, lets consumers quickly buy goods.
‘Tis the season for mobile shopping app upgrades. On the heels of popular shopping app shopkick’s upgrade ahead of the holidays, myShopanion has followed suit.
The app, from Zappli Inc., began as a comparison shopping app enabling store customers to scan bar codes, search by name or browse by category to compare prices online and then head to the retailer’s site to buy. Now the app lets shoppers buy more quickly from their smartphones.
The new feature, called InstaBuy, lets consumers create an account where they can store payment card details and then purchase quickly from retailers who use myShopanion to publicize their products and prices without ever leaving the app.
Here’s how it works: Consumers sign up with an e-mail and create a password for InstaBuy through myShopanion. They tie that account to a payment card and enter a shipping and billing address. Then, when they find a product via myShopanion and see it has the InstaBuy sign next to it, they can make a purchase from the myShopanion retailer, for example, Macy’s, with a few taps from right within the app. The consumer has access to all the shopping features she would on the retailer’s, site such as the ability to choose a size or color and see the estimated arrival date of the product.
MyShopanion does all the implementation work required to add retailers to the InstaBuy platform. So far it has added such retailers as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc, Macy’s Inc., Buy.com, Kohl’s Corp, ShoeBuy.com and Barnes & Noble Inc. to its service.
MyShopanion is making it easier for shoppers to buy because that is how it makes its money. It generates revenue through affiliate fees it charges retailers when users complete an online purchase, says Philippe Suchet, CEO of Zappli. With InstaBuy, he says, “users will only have to go through two screens, enter their InstaBuy password, and be done in less than 30 seconds.”
Last year myShopanion added several social features to its app including the ability for consumers to share products and ask for advice from friends via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. The previous version of the app did not provide a way for consumers to solicit advice or easily interact. Responses appear as they arrive and the shopper’s friends don’t have to use or have the app to respond to questions.
With that update, it also enabled consumers to indicate via buttons that they like, dislike, want or own products. Friends given access to the consumer’s information can then browse the consumer’s “want” list, for example, if they’re shopping for her birthday gift or her “own” list to see if they should ask her opinion of a product they are considering buying themselves. It also improved the app’s search capabilities, enabling consumers to sort results by relevance, ratings, price, brand, features and by the retailers selling the items.
Wal-Mart is No.6 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, Best Buy Co. No. 25, Macy’s No. 21, Buy.com No. 30, Kohl’s Corp. No. 39, and Barnes & Noble Inc. No. 31.