Last fall, eBay updated its barcode-scanning app, RedLaser, to be more of a companion to the in-store shopping experience. Part of that transition was adding deals from RetailMeNot, as well as geofencing and other features for shoppers. With a new update issued today for the iOS, eBay is partnering with the stores themselves to source local deals and additional information.
For background, eBay acquired the barcode scanning mobile apps (iOS and Android) from Occipital in June 2010. The basic technology allows users to comparison shop on the go. Anyone can scan a barcode on an item at a store and then automatically access any eBay listings and local availability (courtesy of Milo) of the product on the marketplace. Sellers can also use the scanning technology to scan the item and list the product. Additionally, RedLaser’s technology has been integrated into eBay’s dedicated iPhone and Android apps.
With today’s update, users can now access deals via a local deals tab. Some of the deals have been sourced through third-party partners (i.e. RetailMeNot) but many of the deals and coupons have been sourced from the stores themselves.
Stores now also have profile pages in the app. So a shopper can access a single destination for weekly circulars, maps, online deals, in-store deals and coupons. eBay says that it has store profile pages from dozens of big-name retailers, including Walgreens and Home Depot. You can also opt-in to receive a push alert when the store you’re shopping in has deals in RedLaser.
Additionally, you can open an in-store map of a Walgreens or a selected Home Depot store in RedLaser, search for your product and instantly see a pin on the map indicating the exact location of the product in the store.
As eBay’s Steve Yankovich explains to us, RedLaser is becoming more and more of an in-store shopping companion, as opposed to a product-comparison app. “We are marrying the best parts of e-commerce and in-store shopping in this update,” he says.
Of course, there are other apps that are also complimentary to the in-store shopping experience like Shopkick. As more retailers look to technology to help bring traffic into stores and engage customers while in the stores, we’re going to see more technology companies go after this market.