Many people assume that "mobile" is implied when they see the word app, but many companies have realized that it's far better to have their service available in other online forms as well. This way, people can use their app at home as easily as they can while out and about. Since most mobile users still have small-screen devices, they appreciate being able to pull the application up on their PC's widescreen when they want to sit and relax. Of course, it also works the other way - nobody wants to be tied to their PC or Mac either, so it's essential to have a portable version of everything.
Shopping has always been a favorite pastime, so it's no wonder that there are plenty of apps out there to help with it. Here are a couple of favorites that have combined online app development with mobile to provide a near-seamless experience to users no matter where they are:
Wal-Mart Savings Catcher - The app allows participants to have Wal-Mart automatically compare some of its prices against advertised prices of other stores, and if a match is found, it automatically makes the difference available as a Wal-Mart gift certificate or as a deposit to one's Bluebird account. On the front end, it's very easy to use in both mobile and online forms, and users do not need separate accounts to access the different versions. Despite early reports of glitches, it is now almost seamless.
The back-end of the Savings Catcher app, on the other hand, is surely very complex. It determines the location of the Wal-Mart store that was used, looks up all of the competing retailers in a wide radius, compares the prices, and refunds the difference when a lower one was found. The only sign to users that this is actually complicated is the delay that comes before the final answer is delivered. It typically takes a couple of days to either get a credit or see the app crow that "Wal-Mart's prices won!"
SavingStar - This app allows users to get money back on selected products. While it puts great promotional emphasis on its mobile version, it also has an online version that can be used in a similar way. Each version requires the product's bar code number and a picture of the receipt as proof of purchase, but the methods for submitting these things varies according to which version is in use.
Like Wal-Mart's app, this one is simple for users but requires a fairly complex back-end. While there is no comparison of thousands of localized prices, the system must be able to capture clear images and match receipt listings against claimed purchases. It might seem like it'd be easy to code an app to use a phone's camera, but alas, this is far more difficult than it might seem. Many shopping apps have several updates before they master the art of focusing the camera on a receipt or UPC. To avoid this problem, make sure that this aspect of the app's mobile version has been very well-checked before release.
If you publish an app that helps people save money while shopping and actually works, you are sure to find plenty of users both online and via mobile. When this app can be used in both forms, its popularity will grow even more. To ensure it's popularity, make it about grocery shopping - even those who "hate to shop" have to eat, and they will want to save money on their food.
To ensure that your app will work perfectly and be enjoyable to use, just contact us. We'll be glad to take care of all of the tough technical details, make sure that the essential aspects like scanning and image capture work perfectly, and design online and mobile versions so it can be seamlessly used in any situation.