Zoomingo’s New App Turns Spotting And Rating Deals Into A Game

Shopping discovery service Zoomingo, which helps you find nearby sales using your mobile phone, is out with a new iPhone app that introduces a gamification element to its platform. Local shoppers are now being encouraged to share the unreported sales they spot in the wild as well as rate those spotted by others.

By playing the new “Hot or Not” game within the app to rate deals, shoppers earn points while also training the service’s branded “ZoomSense” recommendation engine to present more deals matching their interests.

Points can be totaled up for a chance to win a weekly prize, too. For example, the weekly prize following the game’s first week was a Tory Burch Tote. (You can see it over here on Zoomigo’s Facebook page).

Zoomingo, for those unfamiliar with the service, is a mobile shopping platform from language learning service Livemocha’s co-founders, Shirish Nadkarni (Zoomingo CEO) and Krishnan Seshadrinathan (CTO). The company launched back in October with a focus on clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbags, beauty and home products – products that appeal to the everyday bargain shopper, not necessarily the daily deal seeker.

Sales data for the app is compiled from over 70,000 retail outlets, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, JC Penney, Williams Sonoma, Target, Kohl’s, Dillard’s, Wal-Mart and more.

Explains Nadkarni of the new Hot or Not game, it not only helps Zoomingo showcase more deals like those from smaller boutiques and local shops – areas where its data-sourcing techniques are limited – it also serves the dual purpose of helping customize the app to cater to shopper’s interests. The more you play (in theory), the better the recommendations will become.

The game itself is really simple – you just tap the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to rate an item, or, if you have no opinion, you can tap “skip this” instead. Each rating translates to 5 points. The top 50 points earners for the week are entered into the contest (a raffle).

Nadkarni says that today, Zoomingo users are rating over 20,000 deals every day, and are saving thousands of items to their shopping lists daily. The app is also listed in the top 10 of iTunes “Catalogs” category in the App Store. However, although the community may be engaged, it’s still relatively small – the service has over 100,000 to date.

The new iPhone version is available here.

Zoomingo has $1.3 million in funding from Naya Ventures, Benaroya Capital and several angels.