Using SaveUp enables you to order a book or a CD quickly and easily by taking a photo of the product you want from a street ad or in a shop.

Mobile Shopping Now a Reality with Image Recognition Technology

Polish company iTraff Technology has developed SaveUp, an application to foster impulse buying. It enables shoppers to make one-click purchases just by means of a photo. All you have to do is to take a picture - of the cover of a book, a CD sleeve, or a street billboard advertising a video game for instance - with your mobile phone. The app will then automatically find the cheapest offer on partnered online shopping sites. It will also direct you to a virtual version of the product you’ve photographed, if one exists. You can then make the purchase by using a pre-filled form containing your personal details. This is stored in your mobile phone and forwarded to the servers of the various sites as and when necessary.

Quick as a flash photo

"We’ve based our solution on recent studies which show that the idea which drives the impulse buy remains in the consumer’s brain for only a few seconds," Arek Skuza, co-founder of SaveUp, told L'Atelier. "We’re aiming to offer the user the freedom to satisfy the impulse wherever he or she is, otherwise s/he’ll forget it very quickly." Excellent image recognition software has been developed on the back of the progress made in smartphone technology, especially the improvement in camera quality. This initiative is reminiscent of PixlinQ, on which L'Atelier reported several months ago, and also ShopGate in Germany, relating to catalogue-based sales. Using photos as the communication medium also means that users don’t have to type product names - which they can’t always spell correctly - into their mobile phones.

Focus on cultural/entertainment products

In contrast with international platforms such as Amazon, SaveUp focuses only on cultural and entertainment products and has set up its partner network accordingly. There are several reasons for this. One the one hand, "more than 60% of m-commerce revenue in Europe comes from sales of books, CDs, DVDs and video games. We wish to remain a highly specialised bridge between the customer and the sites," explains Arek Skuza. On the other hand, impulse buying only works for low-cost articles – of around €10-15. SaveUp is already well-established in Poland with 50 online partner stores and the company now plans to expand its activities outside Poland. "We plan to start up soon in the UK and Germany, and we’re actively looking to set up partner agreements in France," concludes Arek Skuza.