We’re pleased to announce the availability of MASL’s latest mobile app: Shop Social. The app is available on both iOS devices as well as Android. Shop Social is an experimental shopping app, and we’re hoping you all will find it quite useful and fun. Basically, we’ve been trying to figure out what kind of shopping experiences can be created in a bricks and mortar retail setting if you assume everybody who walks into a store has a shiny new smartphone in their pocket/purse. We’ve been trying to look at this from both the end user’s perspective (e.g. how can we use a just-in-time mobile experience to address existing shopper pain points) and from the merchant’s (e.g. how can mobile be used to encourage loyalty, etc.).
Shop Social is our first take on this. It’s a rather curious combination of product information, rich and social media, and simple game mechanics. We hope Shop Social will help you form a better opinion about a product’s potential for you by intelligently locating all kinds of rich media (videos, photos, etc) relevant to millions of products on store shelves today. We are using state-of-the-art barcode scanning software to make it really easy for the user to establish a product context. Once the app knows what product you are interested in it taps services in the cloud that try to find content that is relevant to the product and hopefully helpful to the shopper. For example, imagine scanning the barcode on a product like Wii Fit and seconds later being able to watch a user-generated video that somebody posted to YouTube of that product in action. Now you can quickly visualize the potential of the product and whether or not it will work for you.
Shop Social is also integrated with Facebook to make it easy for people to have conversations with their friends around products and product related media that they might discover when they scan a product’s barcode. In addition, we’ve incorporated some simple game mechanics to make the application more fun. For example you earn badges as you interact with the application. You can share your earned badges and/or badge gallery with your Facebook friends. If you actually interact with products while visiting the retail stores listed on the application’s store tab you can earn additional badges. If you’re really lucky you might even become a store’s Shop Social Best Badger!
Please give it a try and let us know what you think! You can find more info on the app, including links to the app stores here.