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CNET mobile shopping app helps make smart holiday purchase decisions

December 21, 2009

cnetTo help consumers shop with confidence this holiday season, CNET and CBS Mobile announced a new mobile shopping application.

The applications lets shoppers easily access CNET editor reviews, user reviews, product specs and pricing from any Android-powered mobile device. 

“CNET is a highly trusted resource for people in the market for tech and consumer electronics,” said Daniel Sakai, senior director of games, music and lifestyle at CBS Mobile, New York.

“Our strategy was to use the power of the mobile platform to provide consumers with an easy way to access CNET reviews, get pricing info for products, and do comparison shopping between online and local retailers while they are out shopping this holiday season,” he said.

“The CNET Scan & Shop app takes the guess-work out of spontaneous shopping and makes every purchasing decision an informed one.”

CNET Scan & Shop is powered by Big In Japan’s ShopSavvy, a market leader in mobile bar code scanning technology.

CBS Mobile and ShopSavvy partnered to develop the application, which is now available for free in Android Market and on Android-powered devices. 

Technology and consumer electronic products are expected to top holiday wish lists this year, according to CNET’s Annual Holiday Shopping Survey (Nov. 2009).

On average, consumers plan to spend up to 41 percent of their total holiday purchases on consumer electronic gifts such as digital cameras, smartphones and laptops.

The CNET Scan & Shop application gives consumers a fast, convenient and easy way to look up products and compare prices among local and online retailers via their Android devices.

cnet-2While shopping, consumers can search for products by name or scan product bar codes directly from the device’s built-in camera and instantly access all the key information needed to make purchasing decisions. 

The CNET Scan & Shop application features include: Comparison Shopping, Trusted Reviews, Wish KLists, Price Alerts and a Share feature.

“Looking further out on the horizon, we also see this as a first step towards offering our advertisers a way to target users in their marketing efforts based on their mobile shopping habits,” Mr. Sakai said.

“Marketers have traditionally been challenged with how to most effectively reach a specific demographic,” he said. “Our app captures purchase intent based on what kind of products people scan.

“Paired with GPS location, this data becomes a very powerful way for advertisers to target certain consumers with special promotions that can result in higher uptake and conversion.”

The application’s target demographic is tech-savvy consumers who are price conscious and want to make well-informed purchasing decisions, while on-the-go.

The application is ad-supported. CNET uses an ad mediation platform that integrates multiple mobile advertising networks. Sony Electronics is the launch sponsor.

CNET Scan & Shop will be promoted throughout the CBS Interactive network of online sites as well as via mobile ad networks.

“More than ever, consumers are looking to their mobile phone as not just a communication device, but as an informational resource,” Mr. Sakai said. “People want to make sure they purchase the best product for the best price.

“CNET Scan & Shop puts this info at your fingertips, no matter where you are,” he said. “As a result, we think more physical retailers may find it necessary to price match in order to compete for the dollars of consumers armed with pricing info on their mobile devices.”

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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