Friday, February 24, 2006

Mobile shopping via the handset

A buddy of mine is working with a company called and asked me to check out their free Java app, S'lifter, that allows consumers to search for a product on their handset or mobile device, and immediately see where the product is located, how much it is, and map that shows the nearest retail locations where the item is in stock.

It was a pretty easy process to download and install the app to my Audiovox SMT-5600. I submitted my cell phone number at the S'lifter page and immediately received a text message with a link that took me to the download page. The page correctly identified my handset as well as my network operator and then I downloaded and installed the app over the air. After a few clicks I was shopping.

I decided to search if there were any Xbox 360s in my area and quickly found out that the Best Buy three towns over had it in stock. I also could see what other stores had it, get product info, make a call to the Best Buy as well as text the item to myself or friends.

I thought there was shortage of XBOX 360s, but thanks to S'lifter that is obviously not the case. It'd be cool if they could add a place it on hold feature, but I'm sure something like that is in the works.

Your mileage will vary depending on the product you're looking for and whether the local retailers are working with GPShopper. I found the more product specific you are the better the results (i.e. product name, item #, etc). I'm guessing if the item is not in database for the area then it will default to where you can find it online.

It's a cool little location-based app and I'll have to try it more extensively when I'm out shopping. I can foresee how it will come in handy if I want to check pricing and/or availability of certain items, and it always seems that I'm shopping for something. Now only if it could point me to places I can get the latest mobile gadgets for free then it would be perfect...