One of the biggest challenges in mobile commerce is not the shopping part – it’s the buying. To address this problem, Zappli, makers of the myShopanion iOS application, have publicly launched “instaBuy.” Similar to Amazon’s one-click checkout (but back off, patent lawyers, it’s got two clicks!), the feature allows mobile shoppers to provide their contact info, billing address and credit card details just one time, then tap a button to buy from that point forward. After tapping, shoppers still have to enter in a password to verify the purchase, but it’s still a far easier solution than actually stepping through the traditional checkout experience.
The feature is live now in the company’s comparison shopping app called myShopanion, which offers mobile access to the stores from a couple of dozen retailers, including Walmart, Buy.com, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and others. In addition to the streamlined checkout, the company also built technology that lets you view the product options (think available colors, clothing sizes, etc.) in a mobile format, even if the retailer doesn’t offer a mobile-friendly website. Co-founder and CEO Phillipe Suchet declined to give details as to what the turnaround time was for making those types of integrations possible, but claims it takes “very little time” to implement on their end.
But what’s more interesting, perhaps, is that the instaBuy feature is also being made available to third-parties, which they can implement in their own mobile website or app by adding a line of code. Suchet says there are some deals in the works regarding this now, but he can’t disclose the names yet. From the sounds of it, though, the first adopters outside of myShopanion will be price comparison engines and mobile shopping malls, not individual retailers.
But don’t those companies compete with myShopanion? Yes, but Suchet says that the myShopanion app serves as a great testing ground. “This becomes a way to have a pretty amazing laboratory where we can improve what we do,” he explains. The app works on the affiliate model, but he declined to offer numbers for active users, downloads, or any other metrics.
In addition to supporting mobile, the plan is to take instaBuy to the web next.