Now that Black Friday is here, it's time for consumers to have holiday shopping on their minds. It's the time of year that can make even the most prepared shopper feel a little nervous.
Time is short, and that means shoppers may be spending a lot of evenings and weekends browsing local stores, looking for the perfect present for friends and family. But with sale prices changing each week, it can be hard for consumers to get a handle on the best prices for the gifts they have in mind.
Today, we're checking out a mobile app from Amazon for Android phones that allows consumers to check prices across retailers. We think if's of interest to retailers because it's important to know what's out there on the consumer market. Perhaps retailers themselves can use applications like this to keep tabs on their own pricing.
Consumers simply scan the product bar code and see results in seconds. Amazon will even show you the online sellers who are beating their own price.
While plenty of retailers shudder when they see customers pull out a smart phone and start tapping away, shoppers can now gather as much information as possible before you pulling the trigger on a purchase. And in some cases, the price difference may be negligible, so they can ultimately walk out of the store with another item checked off their lists.
Where can you purchase Price Check by Amazon?
Like other mobile apps, it takes less than a minute to download Price Check by Amazon from the Android Market on a smart phone. Once the Android barcode scanner app is installed, you may need to log in to your Amazon account to unlock the full functionality of the application.
How does the bar code shopping app work?
Tap the Price Check icon to open the android barcode scanner and find a very simple interface. Amazon offers four different ways to track down that shiny object.
(1) Type It. Enter all or part of a search term and see what Amazon has available. If the search is fairly broad, the first screen gives the opportunity to refine a search by a specific department (such as books, movies & TV, etc).
(2) Scan It. The Android barcode scanner is fully integrated within the mobile app and once one taps the scan button, up pops the familiar red line with instructions reminding the shopper to center the barcode between two orange arrows. There's also a note that bar codes scan better without shadows and excess glare on the phone's screen.
Clicking the help button from the scan screen offers some tips for better scanning and reminds shoppers that the Android barcode scanner supports 8 and 12 digit UPC's and 8 and 13 digit EAN's.
(3) Snap It. Just like it sounds, this option lets shoppers take a quick picture of an item without a bar code. The message on the screen mentions that the function "works best in good light with a book, DV, CD, or video game.
(4) Say It. The voice recognition software seems quite robust, easily recognizing most commands.
Once consumers find a product, clicking on the listing takes them to a screen with the options of buying now, adding to cart, or adding to a wishlist. Click a choice and log on with an Amazon username and password to complete the transaction.
Shoppers won't find a simpler or cleaner mobile Android barcode scanner that offers instant pricing from anywhere. And with the potential savings, shoppers might be able to squeeze out a little extra to buy that gadget they've been yearning for.
We thought it might be interesting to look at things from the consumer perspective on this Black Friday. What do you think? Will apps like this change the way shoppers compete for the best bargains on this, the biggest retail day of the year?
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