Mobile

ShopSavvy heads to iPad, as it braces for tablet-heavy holiday shopping

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

After making a name for itself as a useful smartphone app for in-store shopping, ShopSavvy is finally launching on the iPad today — a shift that has forced the company to think beyond its current price comparison strategy.

The free iPad app comes as part of the ShopSavvy 6 update, the latest version of the company’s iOS app. On the iPhone, the update brings the usual performance improvements (the company says about 30 percent of the app’s code is new). But this release is truly about the iPad — just in time for a holiday shopping season where ShopSavvy predicts consumers will be heavily relying on their tablets.

ShopSavvy started out as a simple price-comparison app on Android phones, but it has quickly grown into one of the most popular in-store shopping apps on the iPhone and Windows Phone, with more than 40 million downloads and 10 million active users. When it comes to the iPad, the company had to shift gears a bit to take advantage of its bigger screen, as well as the fact that people will be using tablets at home more than in stores.

“It [the iPad app] was a complete rethink,” ShopSavvy co-founder and CEO Alexander Muse said in an interview with VentureBeat.”On the iPad it’s more of a product browser,” Muse said, while the company’s smartphone apps generally serve to compare specific products across multiple retailers.

While smartphones ruled mobile shopping last year, ShopSavvy believes that tablets will have a major impact this holiday season. That’s not exactly a bold prediction: We’ve seen time and again that consumer engagement on tablets is higher than smartphones (especially smaller tablets). And now that there are a wealth of cheap tablet options available, I’m sure they’ll end up being a popular way for consumers to shop.

“Instead of focusing on price comparison, now we’re focused on offering you one option [on the iPad],” Muse added. He noted that the biggest challenge for the company was figuring out a way to give consumers access to multiple products at once, instead of just comparing a single product’s price.

If you’re already tired of holiday shopping before you’ve even set foot in a store, ShopSavvy’s iPad app could be your savior. Instead of bouncing around multiple retailer websites, you can do all of your shopping within the iPad app. ShopSavvy currently works with major retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot, and Target, plus it offers pricing information for a plethora of online retailers.

ShopSavvy has offices in San Francisco, Calif. and Dallas, Texas, and has thus far raised a total of $11.5 million.