We picked Redlaser because it provides fast and accurate scanning.
Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. With 8.5 million members, 300+ million books, it has a long history of helping devoted readers across the world to find new books, and share the books they love.
Mobile is part of the company’s DNA. Goodreads hit the iPhone in 2010, recognizing that mobile would be an area of growing importance — their members wanted to bring their book ratings into stores, libraries, and friend’s homes to help guide buying, sharing, and reading decisions. You can get the Goodreads mobile app here.
The Goodreads app didn’t start with a barcode scanner. At first, it was focused on bringing reviews and recommendation into their member’s pockets. But Goodreads had ambitions beyond a read-only experience.
Why have a scanner?
“We wanted to give Goodreads members a way to look up more information about books while on the go, especially when at bookstores and libraries,” explains Chandler.
Scanning media, like books, is one of the oldest, and easiest, users for barcodes scanners. This is because most books have unique barcodes (ISBNs), and because there are a number of providers of media data, notably Google and Amazon. Goodreads, however, was more ambitious. They didn’t just want to identify books, they wanted to link their entire reviews and cataloging system into the operation too.
Since any scanner can read ISBN numbers, Goodreads had a number of options to choose from. They wanted a simple, fast, and accurate scanner. RedLaser was the best scanning SDK they found.
“Scanning was one of our most requested features,” says Chandler. “We knew we needed to get it right. So we picked RedLaser, because it is consistently fast and accurate.”
Goodreads makes use of RedLaser’s flexible scan screen layout options to improve the multi-scan experience by displaying book title, author, and rating information in the scan screen.
What is the impact of RedLaser on the Goodreads mobile experience?
RedLaser has become a central part of the Goodreads mobile experience. The app is seeing over 200,000 scans every month, with about 2/3 from people cataloging their own book collection, and 1/3 from book look-ups. And scanning is accelerating — scans are up nearly 50% from last year!
Cataloging is where RedLaser has been particularly transformative. Before adding a scanner, Goodread users would have to manually type in the title of each book and decide the specific edition they had in their collection. This could be a serious challenge, since many Goodreads users have hundreds or thousands of books! With RedLaser, adding large batches of books is a much simpler and easier experience.
“For our members, it’s a fun and popular feature,” says Chandler. “It’s making it even easier to find your next favorite book.”
You can join GoodReads, and hundreds of other companies, in integrating RedLaser into your application. Our developer portal has a simple form which can get you developing today. Alternatively, get in touch with our team to learn more.