Daily iPad App: ShopSmart by Billeo
Billeo is an online shopping assistant and payment service that saves passwords, fills out forms and helps you both shop and pay bills online. To expand its service, the company just released ShopSmart, an iPad app that keeps track of reward cards and other discounts while you shop.
When you launch ShopSmart for the first time, you are prompted to enter your existing Billeo account information or setup a new account. You don't have to setup a Billeo account to use ShopSmart, but most of the value-added features are not available without an account. Having a free Billeo account lets you fill in form information automatically, receive additional discounts and save your credit card information in the app's e-wallet., Registering for an account is easy, all you need is an email address to create a username and password.
Once you enter your account information, you can add your Loyalty cards to the app in the settings. At launch, Billeo lets you add offers from providers like Visa, Discover, AARP, and Billeo itself. There's only six providers, but Billeo plans to expand this list in the future. Within the settings you can also manage your e-wallet information, add location information for your Daily Deals and setup your Facebook account so you can share while you shop. Once you've entered all your personal information, you are ready to jump in and start finding some bargains.
The app has a web browser interface that lets you shop by searching for an item or visiting a retailer's web site. If I want a new Baxter State Parka from L.L. Bean, I can go directly to L.L. Bean's website or search for the item using the search field. If you search, the search results will include an offer tag to highlight those stores with a redeemable discount.
As you shop, discount offers will be shown in the bottom left-hand corner. Just click the offers icon to see your current discounts. If you accept a discount, it will be automatically applied during checkout. ShopSmart will also fill in your shipping, billing and credit card information, too. It's cumbersome to type all that personal information using the iPad, so being able to let the app do it for you is a huge bonus.
ShopSmart also has a social component called ShopTalk that lets you share items you want to buy and offers that you find. ShopTalk keeps track of your posts and lets you read and respond to comments within the app. It's a great way to get feedback about a product before you purchase it.
As you can tell from description thus far, ShopSmart is geared towards online shopping. There's no tie-in for local stores, primarily because most people aren't going to use their iPad while walking around the store. The only local features are found in the Daily Deals section which is populated by Groupon. This section, like the Loyalty cards section, will expand to include other services.
Overall, ShopSmart is great for the online shopper who wants the convenience of using an iPad and has a lot of different reward card offers. Right now, the app is a little lean on the number of available offers that you can add and this definitely detracts from the overall experience. I would love to keep track of my AAA discounts, Best Buy discount, Barnes & Noble discount using ShopSmart, but right now I can't.
I do like the clean interface of ShopSmart and the familiar web browser look. I especially appreciate the app's ability to do most of the grunt work like filling in forms and entering discount codes. If Billeo can add in more credit card offers and retailers, then the app will become a valuable tool for the discount shopper. ShopSmart from Billeo is available for free from the App Store.
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