November 17, 2011
Wal-Mart Launches its First iPad App, Updates iPhone App with a New Speech Recognition
By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor
Wal-Mart has announced the launch of its first iPad app and also the company has updated its iPhone app just in time for the holidays.
It will become easier for consumer to shop online or see what’s available locally with these applications, which are being launched just ahead of the end-of-the-year holiday shopping season.
“As customers use more smartphones and tablets, the Wal-Mart customer is doing the same thing,” Gibu Thomas, senior vice president of mobile and digital at Wal-Mart.
Tricia Duryee writes in AllThingsD.com that increasingly, consumers are scanning barcodes to get reviews and compare prices before deciding whether to make a purchase or go somewhere else.
The apps are not a defensive move against this trend, but rather a way to give consumers what they want, Duryee said, adding, ”We want to know how we can help our customers shop better with us, which will make them shop more with us.”
Wal-Mart’s first iPad app enables users to browse inventory in their local store. Also, they can see what else is available online. The company has created categories that will provide shoppers a catalog-like experience.
Originally introduce, more than a year ago, the new feature of the iPhone (News - Alert) application is a shopping list integrated with voice dictation using speech recognition, and discounts through a partnership with Coupons.com. The app is expected to be available as soon as it receives Apple’s (News - Alert) approval.
Duryee says that the iPhone shopping list feature will allow people to enter items manually using predictive text. Type “cheddar,” and you’ll see a number of cheese brands and the price of each item. Moreover, consumers will also be able to enter items using their voice.
The real price is listed, which makes it possible for budget-conscious shoppers to decide how much to pay for groceries before even getting to the store. Duryee says that Coupons from Coupons.com will also be integrated into the shopping experience.
Thomas told Duryee that the company anticipates being able to store shoppers’ receipts electronically, so that items purchased will be uploaded to an individual’s device, making it easier to create shopping lists in the future.
Additionally, Starting at 10 PM on Thanksgiving night and running all day on Black Friday (News - Alert), Wal-Mart will be running some great deals on video game systems and games.
Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny
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