A Look Into Our Shopping Future

Recently, there have been a few new apps developed that may be game changers for the shopping market. Many people have had ideas to make applications easier to use, but most have failed to have many adopters. Here are a few that have been highlighted as successful.

Currently, Catalogs are a top revenue driver for U.S. retailers equating to around 45% of sales. The delivery of catalogs also is approximately 5% of all paper usage in the country as well as about 20 billion catalogs are sent out yearly. The first app called Catalog Spree, rolls catalogs into one handy app. This application is only on iPad currently. Rather then getting all those catalogs in the mail, the app aggregates them all into the one interface. Users can then favorite items and be alerted when the item's price changes, see future sales and post items on Facebook. Here is a screenshot of the current interface.

Personally, I enjoy getting catalogs in the mail, the experience of flipping through the pages is nice since I typically am in front of the computer the majority of the day. While I rarely purchase anything from the catalog, I do online shop so it will be interesting integrating the two options.

The second application that has come out maybe take a bit more for consumer to adopt. It is called Scan It! and is currently only available at Stop & Stop grocery stores. This application system will allow customers to use their iPhone or Android device to scan the bar code, it collects the 'purchase' and you bag the item there. So effectively, combining the shopping and checkout into one step.The grocery list is then saved with the customer's loyalty shopping card and you pay all at once at the end. Customers will receive sales and product offering updates because of the information saved on the loyalty card.

This video really shows how the app works. Previously, Stop & Shop had scanners that customers picked up- using that technology the grocery store saw around $7.00 per visit extra spent and customers came to the store 10% more often. Obviously, if customers scan the items immediately there is less second guessing at the end during the typical checkout period.

While the concept is very compelling, I wonder if people will be able to break the routine of checking out and paying together. Also, the issue comes in of trying to scan the items using your phone. Often, I have trouble with the self check-out scanners, I can't image how a phone camera will pick up the bar code.

These are two of the most recent shopping apps that have come out. Are there any new apps or mobile websites that you currently use that are changing the way you shop?