Friday, May 13, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: Aisle 411 is your mobile shopping valet for finding, deciding, and saving

Find, choose, save, and have fun doing it all. That’s the concept behind Aisle 411, an iPhone app geared to helping people have better shopping experiences.

Aisle 411 offers a variety of consumer services including:

Find It: Aisle 411 makes it easier for you to find specific items in participating stores. It actually shows the location for an item on a map in stores that have made one available to the service. You can also use Aisle 411 to physically plan your store visit.

Learn It: By scanning a UPC, you get connected to info and reviews of the item. It can help guide decisions on new items and in crowded categories.

Save It: Scan the UPS of an item to see if there are any offers for it. Or review the offers the app automatically delivers to you in store. You can also say or key in a UPC to save. The offers are delivered to your store card, so it’s easier to redeem with Aisle 411 than with rebates and coupons you need to print or clip. Savings appear on your receipt.

List It: You can make shopping lists via the app or on PC, and segment your list by retailer. So your Safeway items on one list, and your Home Depots on another.

Additionally, Aisle 411 incorporates – you guessed it – social and game mechanics to help make shopping a more fun and rewarding experiences. Users can check into stores, publicize their check-ins via Twitter and Facebook, and earn badges based upon their visits and purchases. If being mayor of a Piggly Wiggly isn’t floating your boat anymore, Aisle 411 lets you become the store Captain. OK, OK, I don’t actually know if Piggly Wiggly is a participating retailer. I just like typing the words Piggly Wiggly. But you get the point.

There are also state badges and hidden badges you unlock by visitng areas of a store and performaning desired actions. It astounds me how many people find badges so compelling sometimes, but they do so there you go!

Here’s a little film to give you the Gestalt:

As tens of millions of people begin to use their phones to help make their shopping experiences better, applications like Aisle 411 are working hard to deliver on the promise. While based upon the app reviews, the service still has a few bugs, I am bullish on both the opportunity and the set of services they are providing. After all, they are incorporating a variety of services in a single app. Many other apps have a smaller set of capabilities.

I haven’t experienced the app myself as (on the date I wrote this in April) there is no Android version. But there reportedly will be quite soon. I’ll be watching for it.

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first.

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