10 very cool augmented reality apps (that aren’t design or shopping tools)

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Augmented reality is having a moment on Android. Thanks to ARCore, which now works on more than a dozen device models—Google says that’s more than 100 million individual devices—we’ve seen a ton of new applications that insert virtual objects into our real surroundings. A lot of them are shopping and interior design apps, which makes sense—AR’s ability to make items appear in your home is a great way to see what a couch looks like in your living room without actually lugging it in there.

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10 very cool augmented reality apps (that aren’t design or shopping tools) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Walmart files patent applications for drone shopping assistants and smart shopping carts

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Walmart filed a host of patents today related to how it keeps track of inventory — and the technologies could change the way its customers shop, as reported by Gizmodo.

One of the patents is clearly for the in-store experience, and proposes a sensing device to make shopping carts smart and communicate with a mobile device (presumably to help you navigate to where items are). There’s also a patent that tracks users through wearables, and several for managing / sensing inventory levels.

Walmart has also filed a patent for drones that would assist customers shopping in-store. The patent outlines a method where a drone can be summoned via a mobile device — either personal or one temporarily provided — and then “provide assistance to the user…

Continue reading…

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Best Shopping Apps for iPhone to Compare Prices: Save Few Bucks Before You Buy

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Best Shopping Apps for iPhone

Come Christmas, new year or any much-awaited occasions and people love to indulge in the shopping spree. With shopping list in their hands, they jump from one shop to another; after bargaining with vendors, weighing deals, checking offers, and scratching coupons (and floors of shopping malls), finally they hit the couch.

This sounds too old, right? Of course, I have taken you almost two decades back. Let me shift you to the present scenario. With online shopping portals galore, it is comfortable and fun to shop for your family and loved ones. The same couch, people, had thrown themselves onto after a strenuous shopping trip, offers a cozy seat for shoppers to shop online.

Best Shopping Apps for iPhone
Image Credit: YouTube.com

Welcome to SmartShopping 2.0, i.e., mobile shopping. A number of shopping apps offer numbers of deals & discounts before you place orders. But have you compared the price of products? We have listed some of the best shopping apps for iPhone and iPad to compare prices. So stop flipping the tabs on your smartphone and start comparing prices!

Best Shopping Apps for iPhone and iPad

#1. Romwe Shopping

ROMWE iPhone and iPad App Screenshot
“Romwe Shopping” is your top fashion destination to discover trendy items. With more than 200 daily arrivals of latest items, it’s where you will discover those show-stoppers to dazzle in any party. It provides 60% off on your first order.

You can save favorite products to your wishlist to buy later. Through notifications, it keeps you updated on your order status and special promotions. To ensure you remain at pace with the trend, follow famous bloggers.

Price: Free

#2. Wish-Shopping Made Fun

Wish iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
Wish is claimed to be the number one shopping malls in Europe and North America. You can browse the huge selection of latest fashion, accessories, electronics and more. Thanks to the flash discounts, you can save up to 80%.

With millions of latest items available, you have got plenty to explore. Through the personalized feeds, you can keep a tab on the items that attract you. With the helpful user reviews and photos, you are able to buy the best item for your particular choice.

Price: Free

#3. Zappos

Zappos iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
“Zappos” is primed to be a top destination for shoe shopping. Besides, it features a massive selection of men and women clothing, jewelry, accessories, and more.

You can save your searches to refer them later. It also allows you to keep track of your order. The free shipping and 365 days return policy make it very useful. It provides 24/7 customer support as well.

Price: Free

#4. Cute- Beauty Shopping

Cute iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
Cute is one of the most loved beauty shopping apps for iOS in Europe and North America.  With it, you can get up to 50-90% discount on latest makeup and beauty products. The flash deals and discounts on top products help you save a lot of money.

The personalized feed lets you quickly access and browse through the makeup items that charm you. The search and filter options allow you to instantly find any item.

Price: Free

#5. SHEIN Shopping

SHEIN iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
SHEIN Shopping is the perfect platform to not just buy hottest items but also explore the fabulous world of fashion. You can join the worldwide community of more than 3, 000, 000 fashion lovers to exchange ideas and discover plenty of new things about fashion.

As more than 200 new items arrive every day, you will never run out of options. Besides, there is also an option to create the outfit by mixing and matching. If you like any product, save it to easily access it later. Through push notifications, it keeps you updated about your order status and sale.

Price: Free

#6. eBay

eBay iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
eBay offers you the absolute freedom to buy and sell almost anything. The exclusive deals on new items help you save plenty of bucks. You can browse through the top deals available on millions of items and easily access the most profitable option for you.

As per your shopping history, it also provides you personalized recommendations. You can easily keep a tab on the latest status of your packages. Set up the customized alerts on your favorite items to never miss out on any big deal.

Price: Free

#7. ShopSavvy

ShopSavvy iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
Smart shopping begins with ShopSavvy; just feed this app with what you are looking for, and the app will tell you when the product is available at a highly discounted rate. Get complete information on sales running at major stores. ShopSavvy also scans product barcodes, QR Codes, and Data Matrix; you can quickly find products with lowest prices.

Price: Free

#8. BuyVia

BuyVia iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
You are at a store and want to confirm the lowest price of the product you have set your eyes on; fret not, compare the product immediately on BuyVia app on your iPhone. The app collects all your favorite deal sites in one place; this makes it easy for you to compare prices of products. Moreover, with digital wallet integration, you can automatically enter store logins with just one password. Happy with the deals? Share it on Facebook, Twitter, email, and text.

Price: Free

#9. Dote

Dote iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

Dote is a new age shopping app that can let you save tons of dollars on your favorite products. You can effortlessly search items from a number of stores and add them to your cart!

And just in case, you find the price of any products a bit too high, you can keep it under your radar. Dote alerts you as soon as your underlined products go on sale. With the iMessage app readily available, you can browse and share attractive apparels right from with the messaging app.

Besides, the app has the support of several languages including English, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech and Danish.

Price: Free

#10. ScanLife

ScanLife iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
ScanLife is one of the best shopping apps for food as it gives you details of ingredients from food products (the US only). For iPhone users, they can save their scanning activities in History on multiple devices. Also, users can share their favorite products & brands with their friends and family on Facebook. By scanning QR codes and barcodes, you can earn mPoint rewards; redeem points for gift cards later on.

Price: Free

#11. Walmart

Walmart iPhone and iPad Shopping App Icon
Walmart has taken the reverse route. The app offers you a chance to compare prices once you buy a product from Walmart. Scan your receipt and compare prices of products against the prices of competitors that regularly advertise their deals. If the competitors are selling the same products at prices lower than that offered by Walmart, you will get the difference. You will get the difference back on a Walmart Rewards eGift Card.

Price: Free

#12. Groupon

Groupon iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
Download Groupon and get unbeatable deals of up to 50% to 70%. It is one of the most popular deals app in more than 500 cities. Entire Groupon website is packed into this simple-to-use app for your iPhone and iPad. Get the best deals for local restaurants, spas, products, vacation getaways and more. Groupon can be your last resort for any product or service.

Price: Free

#13. Wanelo

Wanelo Shopping iPhone and iPad App Screenshot
If you go by the hilarious reviews posted by Waleno users, you will go mad. But Wanelo offers cool features that can drive you crazy. You shop for your want, need, and love, and hence, Wanelo is your perfect shopping assistant. The app refreshes its inventory every day; from your regular use, Wanelo gets to know your choices and likes of products. This intelligent app reads your mind from your selection of products frequently.

Price: Free

#14. Amazon

Amazon iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot
Last but not the least: Amazon. It is our personal favorite. The app needs no introduction. Simply download this app on your iPhone and iPad and explore millions of products, neutral reviews, and best prices. Scan a barcode, take a picture or search your product to compare prices and check availability on Amazon. If you are using Apple Watch, you voice-search products, shop with a single click and create a shopping list on watch.

Price: Free

#15. Forever 21

Forever 21 iPhone and iPad Shopping App Screenshot

With Forever 21 just a tap away, the hot outfit you are looking to buy so desperately is always just a glance away! You can search through various items and also read reviews before deciding on a particular product.

The app features a smart store locator to let you instantly find nearby stores. Want more inspiration to style your looks? Don’t fail to watch the trending videos to zero in on the outfit that would look stunning on you!

Price: Free

That’s all, folks!

What’s your pick?

Now, make the most of these top shopping apps to only buy attractive items, save a lot of money but also explore fashion like never before. Don’t forget to set custom alerts to cash-in-on the bonanza in time.

Since we are talking about shopping, I would like to recommend you to read some posts:

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First Look: Shopping on Instagram Goes Global with Shopify

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Shopify Inc. — a leading multi-channel commerce platform — announced Wednesday the details of its expanded integration with Instagram.

According to the scoop shared with MMW, the “shopping on Instagram” feature that allows businesses to tag products in Instagram posts is now enabled for merchants in eight additional markets: UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Brazil.

“This strategic expansion unlocks potential for Shopify’s merchants to sell to Instagram users all over the world,” the official word reads.

Instagram, a fun, popular photo-sharing app for mobile devices, is a great venue for Shopify’s hundreds of thousands of merchants in categories such as fashion, jewelry, beauty, furniture and home decor to grow their customer base in a meaningful way. Riding on the successes from the earlier rollout for Shopify’s U.S. merchants, the expanded integration will allow shoppers all over the world to experience this unique commerce feature on Instagram.

With the objective of helping its merchants reach more shoppers around the world, Shopify continues to invest in social commerce so brands and small businesses can sell to shoppers wherever they are. With its 500 million daily active users, Shopify says that Instagram is a natural integration alongside Shopify’s other sales channels like Facebook, BuzzFeed, Pinterest and eBay, and will help brands leverage mobile to reach consumers around the world.

“Shoppers around the world increasingly demand unique experiences that shorten the path to purchase, and the future of commerce will need to meet and exceed these evolving demands. We continue to partner and experiment with leading social platforms to support our merchants in reaching their customers wherever they are,” said Satish Kanwar, Vice President, Product, Shopify. “The expanded collaboration with Instagram is indicative of our commitment to support our merchants in growing their business and reaching more customers globally.”

The post First Look: Shopping on Instagram Goes Global with Shopify appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

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The Latest Trend in Online Shopping: Marijuana

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We’re obsessed with buying anything we need online. Art supplies. Vitamins. Adult diapers. All to your door in an anonymous box, and without the need to avert your gaze from the cashier.

Apparently, marijuana is no exception — Americans are buying weed online in droves.

This news comes courtesy of a study published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. It marks the first time anyone has analyzed online marijuana sales by looking at internet searches and the resulting links.

Potential For Cannabis
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For their study into Americans’ online pot-purchasing behavior, the research team started  where else? with Google. Specifically, they looked at searches on the platform between January 2005 and June 2017, excluding those from the U.S.’s six least-populated states.

First, they isolated all the searches including terms such as “marijuana,” and “weed” in combination with “buy,” “shop,” or “order.” From that list, they eliminated searches that were clearly unrelated or off-topic, such as “order weed killer.” This left them with 12 terms tied to the thing they actually wanted: buying marijuana through the internet.

Next, they looked at how often people searched those terms each month. They found that, in the 12 years they studied, searches tied to buying weed online increased by 199 percent relative to all searches on the internet. In June 2017, the numbers soared as *high* as 2.4 million in a single month.

The searches weren’t restricted to particular parts of the country  all but two states the researchers analyzed saw a growing number of searches each month.

Not content to simply track search totals, the intrepid team also wanted to know where their list of terms would take them online. You know, for research.

In July 2017, they typed each of their pre-determined keywords into Google, hit “search,” and analyzed the first two pages’ worth of links. Of those links, 41 percent were to retailers offering mail-order marijuana. For two-thirds of the searches, the very first link led to such a retailer.

Their conclusion: People aren’t just searching for weed online. They’re finding it.

This wouldn’t be a problem if buying weed were the same as, say, buying shoes or electronics. Though nine states and Washington D.C. now permit recreational marijuana use, none permit its sale online.

Buying online may be more convenient, but there are good reasons why it’s not allowed. When people buy online, states might miss out on the major financial benefit of legalizing recreational marijuana: taxes.

Even more importantly, it’s harder to regulate who is buying the weed. In states where marijuana is legal, buyers must be 21 or older, and it’s far easier for those below that limit to fake their ages online than in person.

The study’s authors noted in a press release that public health leaders must intervene to prevent these sales, perhaps by convincing internet service providers (ISPs) to remove mail-order weed retailers from search engines.

Of course, that wouldn’t stop teenagers from purchasing weed if they were really determined to get it. But as U.S. states relax their marijuana laws, the nation needs to take precautions to keep the drug out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have it. Addressing mail-order marijuana seems like a pretty good place to start.

The post The Latest Trend in Online Shopping: Marijuana appeared first on Futurism.


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Google is looking to turn product searches into purchases from select retailers with Shopping Actions

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

According to a report from Reuters, Google has been working on monetizing all the product searches that pass through it and almost inevitably go to Amazon by pointing buyers to other places they can purchase the same item. Search results won’t be affected, so you’ll likely still see Amazon among the top results if you look for something, but the sponsored shopping results will start showing products from its Shopping Actions partners.

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Google is looking to turn product searches into purchases from select retailers with Shopping Actions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Pinterest is slowly rolling out its automated shopping ads to more marketers

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Pinterest is looking to continue to increase its portfolio of ads, though sometimes that can take a little while to see the light of day — and that includes a new-ish tool called Shopping Ads that’s slowly getting opened to more marketers and advertisers.

Getting new ad formats is important for a smaller company looking to build out an advertising business, as it has to show potential advertisers it can offer an array of tools to play with as they experiment with that service. The company said today that it’s expanding those shopping ad tools to hundreds of additional advertisers after launching a pilot program last year as it looks to continue to ramp up that tool. Pinterest has to be able to convince marketers that it should be a mainstay advertising purchase alongside Facebook and Google, which are able to routinely show returns in value for their advertising spend.

Shopping ads automatically create promoted pins from an existing product feed for a retailer. That means it’s basically one less thing for retailers to worry about as they add more and more content to the service. Most of Pinterest’s content online is business content as users share products they might be interested in one day buying or already own. As Pinterest gets more and more data on this, they’ll have a better handle on what ads work best, and hope that businesses will hand off the process in full to something more automated.

Pinterest hopes to capture that routine user behavior of planning what they want to do next, whether that’s an outfit to wear that day or some kind of major event or purchase down the line. Getting a hold of those users in the moment they might be interested in a new product is key to the company’s pitch to advertisers. You can more or less consider this a continued test as the company starts to slowly give the tool to the advertisers it works with before it becomes generally available. If it works, it could probably end up down the line in the hands of all advertisers, which could help for small- to medium-sized businesses without a lot of experience build out their early marketing campaigns.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Google will start earning even more money from your shopping searches

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google already earns revenue when you search for anything using its service and see ads, but it’s now turning shoppers’ queries into an even bigger money-spinner. Reuters reports that the company is partnering with major retailers like Target Walmart, Home Depot, and Costco to let them list their products in search results when you enter a query like, “Where can I buy this?” The move to launch a partnership program arose from the millions of image searches people conducted using Google’s engine, which included pictures of products and questions about how to buy them. As part of this initiative, retailers…

This story continues at The Next Web

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The online mattress industry promised a more honest shopping experience. We may have gotten the opposite instead.

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A mattress from the startup Nectar

Sketchy mattress review websites have replaced the sleazy store salesman.

There was a time when a new breed of mattress companies like Casper were supposed to usher in an era of mattress buying that was more transparent for consumers — and one that would make the dishonest store salesperson a thing of the past.

But as these brands have risen, so too have new entities that have filled the salesperson’s old role: mattress review websites — purported to provide honest reviews — led, in some cases, by everyday people who have no experience in the mattress industry or in product reviewing.

Gone is the slick-talking store sales guy directing you toward the mattress with the best profit margin or the highest commission. But in his place are a slew of website owners proficient in the art of search engine marketing, funneling you with the help of Google toward the mattress that lines their pockets the most.

These sites make money from so-called affiliate fees — commissions earned when a reader clicks a link in a review and goes on to purchase that mattress afterward. This model has been around almost as long as the internet. But the rise of online mattress sellers has created a perfect recipe for these content chefs: a high-priced item that results in a large commission, coupled with a heavy consumer reliance on reviews, since many of these new mattress brands are not widely sold in physical stores.

The power these websites amassed has not gone unnoticed in the industry. After Casper sued three of the sites, the high-profile mattress company financed the takeover of one of them, called Sleepopolis. This raised questions about a conflict of interest when Sleepopolis’ review of Casper suddenly improved. Today, Sleepopolis sends more traffic to Casper’s website than to any other mattress brand, according to data from SimilarWeb.

Reviewers don’t have to disclose higher commissions

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s guidance on affiliate-fee disclosures is that they need to be “clear and conspicuous.” But the guidelines do not explicitly say that a website must disclose when one partner is paying a higher commission than another.

This has become a major problem, according to Joe Alexander, CEO of Nest, another mattress brand in the space. And, to prove it, Alexander supplied emails to Recode to where the operators of review sites detail what influences their mattress rankings. Alexander believes they show pay-to-play schemes.

Case in point: If you searched “Nectar mattresses” on Google this past fall — the name of one of the newer mattress brands that has quickly done tens of millions in sales — you would have found links to several, little-known review sites appearing on the first page of search results.

These sites, like MemoryFoamTalk and GetBestMattress, do not have strong name recognition with most people. But their high rankings on Google gave them significant power.

Both sites ranked Nectar as their No. 1 choice for mattress buyers. (Nectar recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission after it was charged with falsely marketing its China-made mattresses as “assembled in USA.”)

What mattress buyers likely did not realize about these Nectar rankings is that they were, in some cases, based as much on personal gain and personal relationships as on objective product analysis, email correspondences show.

In emails reviewed by Recode, MemoryFoamTalk owner Andrew Levy explained to Nest’s Alexander his motivations for Nectar’s ranking. While he noted that he liked the mattress so much that he sleeps on it daily, his emails also divulged that Nectar paid his site $ 150 for each mattress sale, which was as much as three times more than some other mattress brands that pay around $ 50 per referral.

Levy’s rankings have also been based on how much demand there is for a given mattress, by observing how many visitors enter the review site on Nectar’s review page.

“Just letting you know that from my perspective,” Levy wrote in one of the emails, “its [sic] a no lose situation putting them up high on our list, having a good review, and with the demand – getting big checks.”

In a phone interview with Recode, Levy insisted that his rankings were not for sale. His case was built around the fact that some other mattress brands pay him more per sale than Nectar does, but are not ranked high on his list. He also insisted that he sleeps on a Nectar bed every night, and that features like a 365-day return policy added to its appeal and, thus, its ranking.

He did, however, make a critical admission: That the combination of the size of the commission he gets from a mattress brand coupled with the sales volume of that item does indeed influence his rankings.

“I would not disagree with that,” he said in the interview.

As recently as February, three of the top four search terms leading people to Levy’s website included the name Nectar, according to SimilarWeb.

In the fall, a disclosure page on Levy’s review site stated, “No company…pays more than any other so we don’t have any incentive to promote one over the other, which we don’t do anyway.”

When this reporter suggested that the disclosure didn’t appear to be accurate, Levy claimed it had been written when he first launched the site “when no one really paid much more than anyone else.”

He later changed the language of the disclosure to something that still didn’t appear to be completely accurate.

“No company…pays explicitly more than any other, as it all varies based on what size mattress someone purchases, whether they provide a % of the sale vs. a flat referral fee, and so on.”

MemoryFoamTalk website disclosing how to it is paid
Screengrab from MemoryFoamTalk website

Personal favors

In another instance, the owner of GetBestMattress.com, Chris Young, told Nest’s Alexander in an email that the commissions paid by the Nectar mattress company played a role in its rankings, as did the fact that Young’s site “grew up” alongside the Nectar brand.

“Craig is a very nice guy and we grow [sic] up together, that’s why I always rank it first,” Young wrote in an email viewed by Recode, speaking about Nectar founder and CEO Craig Schmeizer. “[C]ommission is part reason, but not all reasons [sic].”

For these sites, a single mattress brand can drive hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions a year to review site owners — a significant sum when you consider that these operations are often run by only one or two people.

MemoryFoamTalk’s Levy brushed off most of Alexander’s complaints and painted them as bitterness over Nest losing business to a newcomer brand like Nectar. He also pointed out that Alexander himself offered to give Levy’s review site a larger commission if he moved Nest up his Top 10 rankings.

Alexander countered that he only made the offer of a higher commission so that Levy’s acceptance would prove that commission size played a part in how the site owner ranked mattresses. Alexander later severed Nest’s affiliate-fee relationship with MemoryFoamTalk.

For his part, Schmeizer, Nectar’s CEO, argued that customer interest in a given brand should factor into review site rankings; not just a reviewer’s personal experience with the product.

“We believe strongly that recommendations in the reviewer community are driven far less by a defined compensation figure, than by a reviewer’s evaluation of the product and by actual consumer interest,” he wrote in an email to Recode. “Consumer interest results in more potential traffic to a particular brand’s review. It makes sense to me that strong consumer satisfaction, word of mouth, advertising and natural interest would drive added attention to a review, and that reviewers would also incorporate this increased interest and engagement in their evaluations as a positive indicator.”

Consumer confusion?

The unanswered questions are whether the average mattress shopper realizes that, and if they don’t, what responsibility the FTC has to protect their interests. The same goes for the potential influence that the size of a commission has on individual reviews.

An FTC spokesperson declined to comment when asked whether the agency would consider requiring these sites to disclose the specific amount of the affiliate fee they are receiving from each brand, rather than just simply stating that they are receiving a commission.

“The FTC does not comment on what we may do in the future regarding law enforcement actions,” said spokesperson Mitch Katz.

In the meantime, it’s clear that the influence of these reviews — whatever is behind them — extends beyond their own sites. As I was finishing up my research for this article, an ad for a mattress company followed me around the web.

It was a straightforward advertisement that contained a simple, positive quote taken from a mattress review website: MemoryFoamTalk.

“The team behind Nectar,” the ad read, “really got things right.”

Recode – All

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