More and more holiday shoppers are looking for inspiration online, according to the National Retail Foundation, which recently published a survey saying that 47.3 percent of consumers will look online for holiday gift ideas this year. Interestingly, that’s a higher percentage than the 45.2 percent who said they’d look for ideas in stores. Online shopping tools continue to proliferate, and familiar players are making improvements. As Black Friday approaches, here are five that are grabbing attention:
ShopSavvy, the world’s largest shopping community is out with ShopSavvy 6, which adapts the app to Apple’s iPad. Comparison shopping and search capabilities are both improved and shoppers will be able to find more local deals through a Deals tab. Another feature details retailers’ price-matching policies. ShopSavvy Co-Founder Alexander Muse has said that if 2011 was the year of shopping with your smartphone then 2012 will be the year of shopping with your iPad. The recent introduction of the iPad mini seems likely to fuel that trend during the holidays and beyond as a popular gift becomes an ever-more-popular shopping tool.
Google Shopping is working to take its experience to another level this holiday season, and with Google Shopper 3.0 it is introducing a number of new features. Customers will be able to more easily browse, find gift ideas, research new products, and find sales in local brick-and-mortar stores.
Many of the products on Google Shopping now have a 360-degree swivel feature that allows shoppers to view items more fully before they buy. There is also a Shortlisting feature that allows customers to keep all of their products and reviews in one location. They can share their Shortlists with friends and family. For those who find something that is just almost right, Google Shopping has another feature that lets customers conduct a search on visually similar items.
TheFind mimics brick-and-mortar shopping by bringing shoppers sales, coupons, and promotions organized by brand or retailer. Siva Kumar, co-founder and CEO of TheFind, has said, “In this current economic environment, coupons are king. People who come to TheFind expect to find what they are looking for and be incentivized to purchase at sale prices or through discount coupons.”
InvisibleHand is what its name implies. Use his browser app when you are looking at an item on a retail website and it will automatically give you an alert indicating where you can get that item cheaper. It only alerts you if the item is available cheaper elsewhere; and once you set it, you can forget it.
Lish, part of the Facebook Commerce platform, seems like the place to look for ideas when you have no ideas. Lish features the most-talked-about products on Facebook and Twitter, and allows vendors to have branded storefronts and one-click purchasing. As Jim Stoneham, Payvment CEO, said, “Branded storefronts give sellers a well-designed ecommerce presence without the hassle of creating their own dot-com storefront.”
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