RedLaser, eBay Inc.’s popular barcode and QR code scanning mobile application is out in a new version. The latest version sports a new interface, has enhanced search capabilities, and surfaces local deals very efficiently.
In this interview with Rob Veres, General Manager of RedLaser and eBay Inc.’s Senior Director of Innovation and New Ventures, you can get the inside track on what the new app is capable of.
What's new in the latest version of RedLaser?
The biggest change in the new version is a new design. We redesigned the app from the ground up to be easier to use for our customers. We also made improvements to other features, especially search. The app previously only searched across products, but when we looked at what people were searching for, we found terms like “Walmart,” and “Target coupons.” So we have expanded search to return not only products but also deals and local stores.
What’s interesting is that the app is now very smart about when a customer is looking for a deal or a store, and it surfaces those results first in such cases. If you search for Home Depot, you’ll get local store results that go right to the top.
Tell us about the interface improvements.
This is the biggest interface change for the app ever. We responded to Apple’s change from iOS 6 to iOS 7, and incorporated the interface guidelines that went along with that. So for iOS7 you tend to increase white space in the interface, use thinner fonts, and produce a generally cleaner look.
We also took the opportunity to increase the size of images and improve access to newer features that are popular with users, and we removed some tabs and other obstacles to getting quickly to what our customers want.
Are there any holiday discounts or incentives available through the new version?
Yes, throughout this year we’ve been working to bring more deals and coupons to the app, and at any given time the app surfaces thousands of deals from hundreds of merchants, including online merchants and local stores. RedLaser can also recommend personalized deals based on what users do in the app. We’re already seeing Black Friday deals pop up, even though it is weeks away.
There are also weekly circulars that are easy to browse, many featuring holiday deals. You can easily browse the latest deals at stores like Macy’s, Target, Toys ‘R Us and many more, plus you can save deals that you come across.
RedLaser remains right at the intersection of the blurring of online and offline commerce, as consumers do more price research from mobile devices before making purchases. What’s the future of that trend?
People are doing that kind of research more than ever, and mobile devices put the necessary content in the palm of your hand. This is really where RedLaser started out, with people standing in a local store, scanning products and looking for more information and price comparisons.
Just in the past week or so, since the new app came out, usage of the new features is rising rapidly. Some of the features are more than doubling in usage in a week’s time, including usage of loyalty cards in the app. Viewing local store pages is instantly very popular in the new app, with usage up over 200 percent since the app was introduced.
For new users, what is the best way to get going with RedLaser?
The app is available in the app store and it’s free for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Just search for RedLaser and then it’s easy to get started. If there is something, like a product, that you’re already interested in, you can search for it or scan it. Or, if you are looking for inspiration, browse the top local deals and circulars that we’ve highlighted. The popular products list can also provide ideas for holiday gifts, including particularly popular toys or technology devices. It’s easy to get started!