Online retailer hopes to divert holiday spending from stores to the Web with iPhone application.
With the holidays approaching, Internet retail giant Amazon has launched a price comparison application for the iPhone. Called Price Check, it allows users to compare in-store product prices with those from Amazon.com and the company's affiliated merchants.
Using the app consumers can scan a product barcode, photograph a product, or say its name into their handset to access instant pricing information. They can then purchase the item through Amazon's one-click ordering system within the app. The company says the offering is designed to give consumers an easy way to access online alternatives when shopping in-store.
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"We've worked hard to have low prices at Amazon, and we like it when customers comparison shop so they know they’re getting a good deal," Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile said of the launch. Of course, the app only pulls in prices from its own site and affiliates, giving consumers a limited insight into what prices might be available across the Internet versus in-store.
Alongside the product and pricing information, the app also allows users to read Amazon.com user reviews and to share items via e-mail and text, or via social media sites Facebook and Twitter. According to Amazon, the app currently includes pricing information for millions of products, though the photo option currently only applies to books, DVDs, CDs, and video games.
Previous iterations of Amazon's mobile applications have included price-comparison features, but Price Check is the first build specifically for that purpose, likely targeting holiday shoppers around Black Friday. "We hope this app will empower customers to shop with confidence this holiday and any other day," Hall said.
The app is currently only available on the iPhone, though the company's main Amazon App has also been released on BlackBerry and Android devices, suggesting those platforms might also see a release.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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