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Slifter debuts location-based shopping for BlackBerry

August 18, 2009

slifter2Consumers using Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones can now download Slifter, a free ad-supported location-based mobile shopping tool.

Using the application, BlackBerry smartphone users can now search local store inventory for products, Hot Deals and promos. They can surf through product information, images and maps, and save products and promotions into a mobile Shopping List to share with friends in their address book.

“We’re really excited to be working with BlackBeryy and at the rate of pickup and the enthusiasm we feel from the wireless community,” said Alex Muller, CEO of Slifter, New York. “Slifter is for people walking or driving around thinking, ‘I wish I knew where I could go to get such-and-such item.’

“We’re excited to be bringing this to market,” he said. “We’re using technology to facilitate what people are doing in the real world.”

Mobile product search provider Slifter uses GPS technology to let consumers search and share more than 300 million products and various promotions at more than 150,000 retail stores across the country.

In addition to most BlackBerry devices, the downloadable application is available on Web-enabled Sprint phones, while AT&T subscribers, iPhone users and others can access Slifter’s mobile Internet site at

Slifter’s downloadable application is also available on Helio handsets and Nokia phones via its Download Now mobile store.

The company claims that within a few months the majority of U.S. carriers will make Slifter available to their subscribers.

“The application is specifically designed for each specific handset and carrier to make sure the consumer’s experience is optimized,” Mr. Muller said.

For example, BlackBerry users can download an application that is specific to the carrier to which they subscribe.

Slifter customers enter a keyword, product name, model number or UPC code to find a product.

They can then view product availability, price and promotional information and detailed directions to the nearest store.

The downloadable application automatically identifies the consumer’s location, while visitors to the mobile Internet site type in their ZIP code to get location-specific results.

“We’re getting into next-generation capabilities to help consumers make purchases in a way they could only do on a computer before,” Mr. Muller said.

To download Slifter for free, BlackBerry customers can visit on their handhelds and click on “Try the Slifter download.” Standard data plan rates from carriers apply.

Slifter is free to consumers. Retailers can list their products for free, but they can also choose to advertise to get more exposure via paid placements on consumers’ shopping lists or Slifter’s Hot Deals page and banner ads on Slifter’s WAP site.

In addition, if a consumer searches for a generic keyword such as “digital camera,” the top result is a paid placement.

These ad placements are pre-programmed to match each consumer’s location.

“A lot of retailers are looking to offer back-to-school promotions on Slifter,” Mr. Muller said.

Nikon, LG and Discount Tire have all run ad campaigns with Slifter.

“Retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, Diesel and Best Buy are looking for interactive avenues to drive sales,” Mr. Muller said. “With the current economy, many companies are cutting back on their marketing budget, so they want the most trackable, most effective use of those marketing dollars.

“With more advanced data features, higher-resolution screens and GPS capabilities, mobile has really emerged as a viable means of marketing, it’s finally emerged,” he said.

“The pay-per-click model of mobile marketing is trackable and ROI-driven, so instead of paying for a billboard irrespective of performance, you pay based on how many people click through to a local product’s landing page.”

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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