Marketers have found that smartphones are the consumer's link from the digital to the real world when searching for products and services. In fact, 60% of shoppers often think of using their smartphones when researching local purchases and 72% use their smartphones when shopping in local stores, according to a Local white paper. Buyers are getting involved in mobile and marketing faster than companies are support them, according to IDC.
So it makes sense that Local, the parent of local shopping platform Krillion, would release a free iOS shopping app powered by the data that tells consumers searching on Bing and other platforms when products are in stock in stores. They call it Havvit (pronounced have-it).
Through a feature titled "My Departments," the app allows shoppers to follow their favorite stores, departments and brands like Best Buy, Costco, Home Depot, Target, Toys R Us, and many others. The app allows consumers to search for products at nearly every name-brand national retailer.
The iPhone owner downloads the app, and selects their favorite stores and categories. The app finds the merchandise and serves up the image, price and more in the app. If the consumer wants to wait for the item to go on sale, they set up an alert and enter in the price they want to pay.
Havvit's intelligent price-tracking feature allows consumers to search for items and compare prices, set the ideal price for the items they want, follow price trends and receive alerts when the price is right, without coupons. It also provides an option to comparison shop.
I downloaded the app to give it a try. The biggest problem, as I've written about so many times in the past, is that if the item is out of stock the product still serves up and the consumer closes the app disappointed and empty-handed. So does this mean the company works with outdated data? The industry needs to reach a point where they work with real-time data or these types of apps and the services on Web sites, even those for desktop, are useless, especially during the holidays.
Frankly, I'm a bit frustrated when I spend hours searching online for the perfect gifts only to order them and get a notice from the retailer a day later letting me know the items are either sold out or on backorder and won't ship until March. Ugh! (and not the UGG boot kind).