Coupons recently announced the acquisition of GroceryiQ, a software application, from its publisher Free State Labs. It enables customers to do partial Virtual Reality (VR) shopping. This feature is currently represented more in a diagrammatic format and it shows how items are arranged alongside aisles in rows with the textual description on the left and items on the right. Enhancements and convergence to full VR are under development. An intermediate feature is in production, undergoing exhaustive trials and is due for a much anticipated release.
GroceryiQ version 1.0 is popular on the iPhone (News - Alert). Daily, more than a thousand users pay for it and install it. It lists and rapidly finds more than 130,000 items, commonly found in American supermarkets and grocery stores, with its child-friendly search engine it allows lists in any category - temporary, permanent or favourites- to be made and stored (list saving and storing also happens automatically), In addition, individual items, or detailed lists, can be e-mailed to family members, so that anyone can pick up items. It also serves as a friendly memory-jogging portable data accessory, or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).
The store and aisle layouts, which are first automatically and sequentially arranged and can also be stored, accurately pin-point item locations thus saving valuable time. The app also enables carts to be pre-loaded by remotely ticking off the check box from the phone itself.
GroceryiQ version 2.0 is due for release shortly and will be available free for existing users. The combination of GroceryiQ with Coupons promises to create new ways for consumers to save money, in addition to providing them with multiple mobile methods for redeeming coupons.
Coupons, via its Web site, enabled all its 36 million customers, collectively, to save over $300 million in 2008 – a 140 percent steep climb when compared with 2007. This works out to an average saving of $2,000 per consumer per year – a healthy tonic for these troubled times.
The target for 2009 is estimated at $1 billion – a more than 333 percent projected increase from 2008. One pertinent statistic – the number of online digital coupon users in 2008 rose by 50 percent from 2007, and this coincided with the U.S. newspaper industry going through a rough phase, which correspondingly translates to a reduction in the number of newspaper coupons being cut out and availed.
“GroceryIQ has quickly established itself as the category leader among grocery shopping applications for the iPhone and is a natural complement to our rapidly expanding digital coupon platform,” said Steven Boal, CEO of Coupons.
Vivek Naik is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Vivek's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michelle Robart