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SnipSnap / Search On A Shoestring

by Contagious I/O

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Coupon app’s new feature price matches products via visual search

Money savings app SnipSnap is rolling out a new tool that enables users to find deals on a product by taking a photo of it. The new feature, called Scout, lives within SnipSnap’s existing app and connects users with a virtual assistant.

To use the chat-based feature, shoppers can either take a photo of the product they want to buy, type in its name or scan the barcode. Scout identifies the product using advanced visual search tech from parent company Slyce, which acquired the startup earlier this year for $6.5m.

Once the product has been identified and confirmed by the user, a virtual assistant will reply with a few questions such as ‘Any store preference?’ Scout will then sift through price-match offers, rebates from online stores, SnipSnap’s own coupons and deals from similar apps.

The company describes Scout as human-mediated AI, meaning some responses are automated and others from human employees.


Contagious Insight / 

Deals over discovery / We’re seeing an increasing number of companies experimenting with visual search. For example, recently launched an AI powered footwear finding tool and Pinterest now allows users to search for items that are similar to a certain image. These examples are geared towards helping shoppers find the perfect product. For Scout on the other hand, it’s about finding the perfect price. It’s designed for people who already know what they are looking for rather than those looking to browse, showing the versatility of the tech.

Prompting price matching / Half of US adults regularly conduct some form of showrooming (i.e. comparing prices on mobile while in a retail store) according to the 2015 IAB Digital Shopping Report. This causes many retailers to lose out on sales as shoppers may decide to purchase a better deal elsewhere, whether that’s in a different store or online.

Scout could actually help ease the effects of showrooming as it reminds shoppers that the store they are in might offer to match lower prices. ‘Nearly every retailer supports price matching, but only 5% of consumers actually do it,’ SnipSnap founder and CEO Ted Mann told Fast Company. ‘Price matching is super hard if you have to read all the legalese, check dozens of websites, and print out/save webpages to show in store. We basically eliminate all that work and give the consumer confidence to price match.’



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