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RedLaser takes on local deals

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

We released an amazing new version of RedLaser for iOS this past Tuesday, and the media has taken notice, from TechCrunch and Appolicious (which reports “If you like saving money when shopping, RedLaser can help you do it”), to industry publications like Marketing Pilgrim and  Internet Retailer.

So what is so impressive about the newest version of RedLaser? For the first time, we’ve taken our local shopping experience and turned it from a search tool — where can you buy certain products — into a powerful local browsing engine, highlighting the best deals and stores around you. New features include in-store deals (carefully selected to be easy to use), store maps, and store circulars. This means you don’t have to wait for circulars or packets of coupons to show up in your mail: instead, just fire up RedLaser. 

MapTabTo access this powerful new functionality, just tap the new deals tab in the menu bar at the bottom of every screen. A map pops up, showing all the major retailers that have stores around you. Over fifty merchants (coverings tens of thousands of stores) are in RedLaser today, and this number is growing fast.

Just imagine using this feature at a mall: within seconds, you can target your shopping trip to your favorite stores with the steepest discounts, or even check to make sure the products you need are in stock.

2013-04-11 09.51.48Select the store you’re interested in, and you’ll get a huge menu of options.

Instead of hunting through aisles, just type in the name of the product you’re looking for, and all the locations appear on the store map. In the image to the left, we’ve found where Diet Coke is sold in our local Walgreens, for example. With another two taps, we’d see that 12-packs of soda were heavily on sale too!

You read more about the new release on the eBay blog or  see the full fact sheet. Then,  find RedLaser on Apple iTunes app store now, and we’re anxious to hear what you think. Give it a whirl!


RedLaser in-store

Published on | By Miles Skorpen and Nate Lyman

RedLaser users are, typically, store shoppers — local prices are a cherished feature, and millions of people use our app in retailers across the world every month. We hear about RedLaser hacks all the time, where people use RedLaser to take advantage of price match policies, or conduct comparison research to get the best deal. With the newest version of RedLaser, we set out to make the in-store experience even more useful.

RedLaser in-store is live in Best Buy locations across the United States! Here’s how it can help you shop better.

Deals by store

It all starts in the parking lot. We’ve added a “Deals” tab which lets you browse awesome deals by store. Just click a store’s logo — or browse a more complete list of hundreds of stores — and you’ll get all the most recent deals.

We show both online and local deals. While some online deals are technically online-only, we wanted to include them because many retailers will honor them if you ask. Local deals, on the other hand, are really easy to redeem: Just show your phone screen, and retailers can scan the barcode directly.

The only complication is with old barcode scanners which use an actual laser. Lasers have trouble with the glass screens of phones, so the checkout staff at some stores might have to type in the information manually.

In-store experience

Things start to get really interesting when you walk into a Best Buy (and many more stores, soon!). We’ve developed a proprietary location tracking system which uses a number of signals to find out where you really are. The heart of the system is the GPS tracker on your phone, but we also take into account information like your travel vector, speed, and what we know about neighboring locations.

We’ve combined this with our custom location database. When we first started mapping stores, we faced an unexpected challenge: addresses are really bad for knowing where things are really located. For example, a big-box retailer’s address might be for the main entrance to a shopping mall’s parking lot, while the actual store is half-a-mile away! We had to create a system to correct these issues, and are working to build a more accurate location database for hundreds of thousands of locations.

Since we know where you are, we can offer custom features when you enter the store. At Best Buy locations, we show in-store deals, hours of operation, and open box items. Open box items are returned products which are available at a big discount.

The most important action happens when you start using RedLaser in the store. Most of our users, we’ve discovered, would be thrilled if the store’s price was the best option — or even close to the online price! When you scan a product in a store, we give retailers a chance to put their best foot forward and show you all the information which might make you choose their product, and to simplify your shopping experience.

We include every discount, and show the up-to-date price and your total savings. This lets you quickly make sure you’re getting the store’s fully discounted price. We also show warranty information, since this is an important differentiator — many cheaper items online, particularly for electronics, are “gray market” and don’t include full manufacturer warranties, and we also show other items that pair really well with the product you’re looking at.

If you are researching a camera, for example, we’d show you the perfect memory card, spare battery, and bag for the camera — and all those items would be available in that very store!

Our in-store functionality has been covered by Internet Retailer, RetailNetGroup, and TechCrunch.