Mobile apps have been driving traffic to stores online and offline. Goodzer brings this to the underserved smaller retailer with product search across multiple storefronts.

For Goodzer, product oriented search supports indie stores

Mobile apps have been useful for consumers who are in the mood to shop - they can find nearby deals and access a store’s mobile web site. But these apps offer customers ways to choose by proximity or discount, not according to specific products. Goodzer is a smartphone app that gives shoppers a place to look for a particular item regardless of where it is being sold - as long as the vendor has a website, Goodzer indexes its inventory. Offering a retail search service that catalogs products and includes independent businesses is no simple feat. The app launched its New York-only prototype one year before it finally deployed its national version in November 2011. The team plans to expand coverage to the entire globe.

Helping local independant stores gain more visibility

A local shopping service that finds products can be an immense boon to a neighborhood - customers can choose to shop at independent stores rather than national chains. These chains often are favored in online shopping search, where sponsored ads and robust pageviews are given greater priority on result lists. But Goodzer co-founders Dmitry Pakhomkin and Artem Zarutsky built their service because they wanted specific things without visiting multiple storefonts, searching websites or waiting for shipping.

And more in-store sales, too

While merchants can register on Goodzer’s site to be added to their database, most of the features are customer-facing. Smartphones have been powerfully influencing how retailers engage with mobile tech in their stores. Currently, 5 percent of store sales have been influenced in some way by smartphones - shoppers researching products with their phone, comparing prices or other uses. Deloitte predicts that by 2016 this will grow to 19 percent of sales. Mobile tech has been shown to contribute to in-store sales, and with Goodzer’s focus on local and independent vendors, shoppers are more likely to be committed to making a purchase.

By Ivory King