Native Mobile Application = iPhone + SmartCircular

Does ShopLocal have a native iPhone app that displays in-store circular content? Sure do. Done. The initial beta launch is already underway (just in case you want to participate, please just leave a comment below) and getting really great reviews from clients, partners and analysts. The ShopLocal team is iterating really quickly through new designs and features and is really looking to pushing this native mobile application out into the marketplace via the official distribution channel that the Apple iTunes App Store provides (and yes, we are dreading the long wait time of getting it approved).

There is so much to cover on this topic, but a few of the most important highlights of how this mobile application differs from all the crowd of other mobile app developers include:

  • Multiple device support - The iPhone / iPod Touch platform are great, but there are other viable mobile devices out there such as Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Nokia and (coming soon the Palm Pre) If widening your distribution is important without increasing your time to market or costs, then the ShopLocal approach is the only way to go. Build one great device agnostic application and port it out across multiple SmartPhone platforms. So to recap, the major benefits of this build strategy are:
    • Consistency between mobile applications - add a feature or kill a bug only once. Not multiple times
    • Substantially lower up front development cost - since 90% of the application from platform to platform use the same code base, it is way cheaper as re-use is the name of the game
    • Faster time to market - Time is money. Money is time. Even if a client was to just start with the iPhone platform and at a later date decide to “port out’ their mobile app to a new buzz worthy platform, it would be very quick to deploy to core / existing app to the new mobile device

A high level feature guide of what the current beta version of the SmartCircular Mobile Application contains would be:

  • Browse by…
    • Brand
    • Category
    • Most popular deals (Wisdom of the Crowds based)
    • Circular page
  • View item details
  • Shopping list
  • View nearby store locations with store details such as phone number and hours of operation
  • Change your location
  • View store location within a Google map (right within the application)

Below is a go-to-market pitch presentation that does a nice job of walking through the opportunity and the ShopLocal solution. It really is amazing at how the iPhone is paving a way for a whole new breed of digital on-the-go applications. Read More...


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