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Zappli is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.
It’s rare to find yourself shopping these days without a phone in your pocket. And with an iPhone, which has access to the Internet and a camera, you don’t need to spend time simply wondering whether a product is any good, or if you can buy it cheaper from elsewhere. Using Zappli‘s MyShopanion application for the iPhone, which Zappli is launching at the DEMO conference and making available for free on Apple’s App Store today, you can see for yourself.
MyShopanion, part of a new breed of social shopping applications for mobile devices, makes it easy to cross-check products while you’re shopping around. You can either scan the barcode of a product using the iPhone’s camera, or enter the product’s name. The application then populates a list of products matching what you’re looking for, letting you sort by relevance, ratings, or price, and see what’s on offer elsewhere.
You can drill down further by tapping on a product, and then “Price,” which gives you a useful compilation of prices from various other outlets, or “Reviews,” which brings up a list of reviews the app gathers from other sites. This information is useful when considering whether to buy something, or where to buy it from.
It wouldn’t be social shopping, though, if it weren’t for the ability to share a potential purchase with your friends through Facebook, Twitter, email, or on MyShopanion itself, and get instantaneous feedback. Your friends don’t have to sign up to the service to give you feedback.
The application uses software from RedLaser, an iPhone app recently acquired by eBay, for barcode scanning. While RedLaser’s own app only shows a list of prices, Zappli’s app goes further by adding a social layer and gathering price comparisons and customer reviews from multiple channels.
MyShopanion is Zappli’s first application for the iPhone, but the company intends to develop more around similar mobile-centric social shopping experiences. Based out of San Francisco, the startup has so far raised funding from angel investors. It is led by Philippe Suchet, who was previously CEO and cofounder of Kefta, a behavioral targeting company that he sold to Acxiom in 2007.
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