ShopLocal Adds Mobile Shopping Service

ShopLocal has introduced a mobile application powered by Where (uLocate). Where/uLocate sees itself as a distribution channel and platform for third-party content providers. It has the relationship with carriers and thus can offer GPS to the third parties that would otherwise not be able to offer that capability

The ShopLocal application requires a download and costs $2.99 a month. Because the service is new and not available for all phones we haven't been able to test it. ShopLocal itself has limited expectations, recognizing the application is largely in the realm of early adopters (the fee also keeps people away). In terms of consumer behavior and reach text is much more widely used than WAP, which is more widely used than downloadable applications in turn.

That fact is what motivated Yahoo to release oneSearch for all WAP browsers rather than wait for Go to be preloaded on new handsets.

Local shopping search provider NearbyNow has had success with SMS based mobile promotions and search, which has been in the market since the holiday season. The service complements its main Internet-based service. And GPShopper has a service called Slifter, which in partnership with Sprint, offers GPS shopping and local product inventory information.

Retail and shopping is a category that will be widely used in mobile to check prices, store locations and, eventually, local inventory.