ShopSavvy Seeking to Broaden Appeal with Deals

ShopSavvy was one of the very first barcode scanning apps. It later added local inventory data from several providers including Krillion. The company has now become a Groupon affliate, adding Groupon's offers to its Deals tab that includes other deals inventory.

In beefing up deals inventory -- though the company should be working with The Dealmap -- ShopSavvy is trying to move beyond commodity barcode scanning into a broader range of use cases for consumers and for merchants. From a merchant perspective deals offer an effective new customer acquisitions and a loyalty/CRM tool. 

There's some awkwardness in my view with daily deals in a mobile context. Coupons that can be searched or more persistent deals (vs. one day) offer a better fit for most mobile use cases, though food-oriented daily deals can work well in mobile. 

The company also has a number of "social features," including top lists and reviews, which seek to differentiate it from competitors. 

ShopSavvy's core offering, barcode scanning, is now a commodity as I indicated. And the app has largely been superseded in most respects by RedLaser (eBay), Google Shopper/Goggles and Amazon. Local inventory data is also on a path to becoming commoditized, with at least four APIs in the market (JiWire, Milo, Retailigence, Wishpond). Accordingly it will be very challenging for ShopSavvy to distinguish itself from larger and even smaller rivals that can tap all the APIs now in the market. 

There's also a ton of competition from "loyalty" marketing apps, among them ShopKick and Foursquare. However ShopSavvy says it has roughly 10 million users (but is that app downloads or active users?).

If those figures are real I suspect we'll see an acquisition in the near term.