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September 29, 2011

TheFind Android app

Online retail aggregator and search engine is bridging mobile, Web and in-store shopping with an Android application.

According to TheFind, the company has been dabbling in mobile for two years and has tested both smartphone and tablet apps. In particular, its mobile efforts have geared towards Android devices because of the larger screen and user habits.

“There are two types of mobile shoppers,” said Ramneek Bhasin, vice president and general manager of mobile and tablets at TheFind, San Francisco. “Consumers are either looking for a specific item, or they want to browse catalogs and products on mobile devices.

“What we discovered is that Android devices let consumers shop by browsing because the larger screens engage more with consumers,” he said.

TheFind is an online destination that aggregates retail products via the Web and tablet catalogs.

Shop anywhere
TheFind: Shopping app lets consumers search and buy products by typing in keywords.

Consumers can also search for nearby items by entering their ZIP code or using their device’s GPS.

Additionally, users can scan bar codes and QR codes to comparison shop while in-store.

TheFind works with retailers to create catalogs and weekly circulars, which shoppers can access on their mobile devices.

Consumers can create shopping lists and share their finds via social media.

The app is also able to recognize retailers “liked” on Facebook to push relevant items.

Consumers can browse catalogs via the app

Once creating an account, users can browse and store items for future reference.

By letting consumers store information, TheFind is tapping into a multi-screen shopping approach that lets consumers complete a purchase via mobile or desktop.

Retail therapy
Having a mobile presence is important for both online and brick-and-mortar retailers, per Mr. Bhasin.

“Retail has become a multichannel experience, and if you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer, you better be trying to generate online sales through mobile,” Mr. Bhasin said.

Shoppers are also looking to mobile to do more than price check and are looking for more advanced mobile experiences, including customer service and in-store availability.

Most recently, British online retailer ASOS expanded its commerce-enabled efforts with an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch application (see story).

TheFind’s announcement is also evidence that the shopping experience for consumers will eventually blend between Web, in-store and mobile.

“In the next year, consumers are going to look for tools to shop across all channels and be able to start and finish a transaction across all of them,” Mr. Bhasin said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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