We’ve all been there, standing in a superstore, shopping list in hand. We stare at the dozens and dozens of rows of consumer products before us and don’t have a clue where to find anything.
But if you’re in China, has something that might help. The company, which is based in both Austin, TX, and Shanghai, unveiled its “Smart Shopping App” in a soft launch in Shanghai earlier this month. Shoppers can now check in through the app on their phones and upload shopping lists that the app would match to maps of the store in order to plot out the most efficient route, among other services.
So far, the app has been rolled out in 26 stores of one of the world’s largest hypermarkets. (Appconomy isn’t making the name public since the official unveiling is still to come in China.)
At stake is a piece of China’s $2.3 trillion retail market, which is already nearly half of the American retail market and is expected to surpass the U.S. by 2020.
How did an Austin startup come to serve shoppers in the most populated city in the world’s largest marketplace?
Appconomy’s founders were each longtime members of Austin’s entrepreneurial community, having previous experience at startups such as Moxie Software, iMark.com, and Powershift Ventures. But executive chairman and co-CEO Steve Papermaster got to know China when he was appointed by former President George W. Bush as a member of what is now known as the China-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue, among other organizations dedicated to growing Sino-American trade ties. During his time there, he got to know Jiren Liu, the chairman, founder, and CEO of Neusoft.
The publicly traded Chinese software giant was looking to expand into the mobile market and saw an opportunity in a partnership with Appconomy. The American executives had intended to start its operations in the U.S. when it was founded two years ago, but realized that if they were to join up with Neusoft, the Chinese market would dominate the company’s business.
“We did a total pivot to shift all focus to China, ” says Joe Canterbury, Appconomy’s COO and senior vice president of marketing and business development. “It wouldn’t be feasible to build markets in parallel.”
Since then, three of Appconomy’s senior executives moved with their families to China, and six months ago the company launched its first mobile app aimed at retail, called Jinjin Marketplace (see screenshot). The app enables customers to manage mobile-based loyalty programs and receive store coupons and special officers. Customers can also participate in digital gifting programs through SMS. Retailers get a direct, real-time channel to their customers and can harvest data about how people shop and what they buy.
“Merchants are getting to leapfrog from paper punch cards to a much more dynamic loyalty program that allows them to capture so much more data about members, ” says Canterbury, who joined Appconomy last year after more than a decade involved with Starbucks’ international operations.
My shopping list
Mobile Application (Kamax Android)
Seeking Advice - Buying a Prepaid SIM card2006-02-06 23:30:29 by EternalRecycler
Got a Samsung phone from a FOAFOAF that was apparently used in Asia - the numerical dial tones can be spoken in Mandarin Chinese and there's what looks like a Mandarin Chinese text editor built inside.
However, the SIM card's a T-Mobile, so I'm thinking this phone *was* used in North America.
I'd like to buy a prepaid SIM card for my own use, but I'm not sure about the things I should look for when I'm shopping around. I just know there are quite a few CL ads for PP SIM cards.
I'm not sure if my internaional phone would pose a problem in terms of compatibility with the North American wireless network
Early China Launch Heads Off iPhone Smugglers at the Pass — TechNewsWorld
Should Apple ink a much-discussed (but still not official) deal with China Mobile, the nation's (and world's) largest wireless carrier, it could further erode the market for smuggled devices because China Mobile's smartphones are heavily subsidized ..
Shopping List - ListOn (Free)
Mobile Application (NalaDex)
Pocket IKEA (for IKEA Group)
Mobile Application (Go2Mobile)