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NetPlenish CEO Dave Compton believes "there are two types of shoppers: convenience and price-driven."
Compton says his wife was faced with a common shopping problem — having to visit multiple stores to find the best deals. It was a weekly challenge for her to find a particular brand of dog food at the best price.
So Compton and his NetPlenish co-founder Steve Markowitz created their app to let merchants compete for sales based on who has the best-priced in a given week, addressing the consumer problem of having to shop at multiple stores to get prime deals. Even more convenient, items get shipped to you in 3-5 days. Need something ASAP? Overnight shipping is available too. The cost of shipping depends on the number of items and where they're from — order around 25 or more items and shipping is typically lowered.
The free app was launched in the iTunes app store and for Android on Thursday. The app is connected with dozens of major merchants including Target, PetSmart, Sephora, Sears and OfficeMax, and the company is continuing to add more. To use the app, input your grocery list by way of scanning and — boom — the app's price comparison software, called Shop Genius, compares the price of that product at various stores to find you the lowest real-time price. Right now, you can only input items by scanning.
"What we are really focused on are the things you buy over and over again," he said.
Compton said he also wants to make checking out easier. There's no need to re-type your credit card information into the app each time you shop. You register your card once and are done forever. From then on, you tap the "purchase" button to buy products and have them shipped to your home. The app shows your total pricy tally including shipping and tax before you purchase.
Whether you're convenience or price-driven, NetPlenish serves both shopping styles. But I wondered: Are the savings cancelled out by the shipping costs? Even if shipping does cut into saving rates, Compton argues that the app's ability to turn a 45 minute shopping trip into a 45 second task is a game changer.
I used the app to scan the barcode from some items on my desk: a bag of prepackaged almonds, some tins of a popular brand of tea. I even went into the fridge to scan the barcode on a bottle of mustard and some coffee creamer. But nothing I scanned was available on NetPlenish (sigh), which was surprising because Compton said they have two million products registered. As good an idea as this is, I suppose the developers will need some time to add more items or fine-tune the scanner. But nonetheless, a smart idea that should improve with some tweaking.
What do you think about NetPlenish? Would you use it? Tell us in the comment.
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