App Bridges Online Shopping and Local Retail

By Neil on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 | Local Search, Location-based Services, Mobile, Social Media

I recently came across the app Milo thanks to PSFK which featured the app in their latest Future of Retail report. I was immediately intrigued because it is a local shopping engine as opposed to the thousands of online shopping apps. Playing with it a bit, it has the feel of online shopping but it directs you to the point of sale at the physical location and the satisfaction of getting it now.

What makes Milo a game changer now is its openness to small businesses. They recently launched Milo’s Fetch, a free plugin that allows businesses to upload their inventory and availability in real-time. This is done automatically and updates every 15 minutes. Once setup, the inventory is searchable through their online engine as well as the mobile app. Plus, Milo is now an eBay company and its search results include inventory connected with Milo’s Fetch.  The plugin is currently only compatible with Quickbooks but they promise more integrations are on the way.

My take on the current app is it seems to be loaded with only big box stores at the moment, at least in my area. With the easiness of Milo’s Fetch though, I hope local business begin to take advantage of it soon.

To show you how easy it is use as a shopper, I did a quick search for a product I recently purchased after my online purchase didn’t fit correctly and I needed them more immediate than going through the process of sending it back and waiting for the new pair to arrive.

The results pointed me to bigger stores including Journeys and Nordstrom.

Once you select a product, you can search to find if your size, color, etc. is available and at what locations.

From the app you can easily contact the store or get directions.

It’s an easy-to-use app that as more local businesses get connected, it will become a great resource for comparison shopping and deals. You can download the mobile apps here.

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