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BrandSource Unveils Mobile Sales App

8/31/2011 07:33:48 AM Eastern
Las Vegas - BrandSource introduced its own app available through the app store of iTunes, during its national convention at Caesar's Palace, here, on Tuesday.

appThe BrandSource app is free; ccompatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and iPad2; and requires a minimum iPhone OS of 4.1 or later. Wi-Fi, Edge or 3G network connection is sometimes required. The app is currently available for major appliances, according to Bob Lawrence, CEO of BrandSource.

It will soon be available on other mobile operating systems as well, Lawrence said.

The app is described "as putting a better buying experience in the palm of your [consumers'] hands. We offer the ability to search appliances and electronics from all the major manufacturers. Add them to your favorites, find your closest dealer and even share that information with your friends," according to a statement on BrandSourceMobile.com.

The app enables consumers -- and salespeople at BrandSource member stores -- to research more than 7,000 appliances and electronics from an Apple device.

Lawrence said the group now owns 160 words in the apps store of iTunes that apply to major appliances that "bring up our app."

The app "will open up as ‘BrandSource' " once a keyword is hit "but the retailers will have the ability to customize it to their store," Lawrence said. The app enables consumers to find the nearest BrandSource available and lets consumers share info on a new product via email, Twitter and Facebook.

Lawrence said this app does not even the playing field since "there is no other home appliance app in the industry today. From a tech standpoint, it puts us one step ahead of everyone else out there."

He described the app as a tool for consumers, but also for member retailers, because "the salesperson never has to leave the customer's side. The app can bring up specs, dimensions, users' guides, specs, colors of products and availability."

Lawrence said that in major appliances, for instance, "There are nine buying guides on washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc. and [the app] provides info on what type of features you might need for your home. You can also play 40- or 50-second videos on different features you might need."

The reaction of BrandSource members to the app was "over the top" when it was presented, Lawrence said due to the "depth and breadth" of the features provided.

On the dealer's site they can print out price tags. "It lets you go to the manufacturer's site to see if it is available, and if we can order it directly and can be used for Expert Warehouse 2 as well. It can show competitive prices versus the big box stores by ZIP code. If the customer says, ‘I need to check a competitor's price point,' you can say, ‘No need to, I have it right here on my app.' "

Expert Warehouse 2 is now 100 percent owned by BrandSource; its partner is Ingram Micro, which signed on a month and a half ago. Lawrence said that with this app member retailers who have signed up to join Expert Warehouse 2 can "show products that are in stock and, it is the dealer's choice whether the product is shipped direct to the consumer or the store" within 24 hours.

Jim Ristow, executive VP of CE, said that that this app will "really help legitimize the independent channel inside the stores, make them look and feel even more professional than the big boxes."

Ristow said CE is "loaded and ready to go," and should be available soon.

BrandSource also revealed details on its Expert Warehouse 2 relationship with Ingram Micro which includes more categories for the group -- small housewares, Apple-related and other tech accessories, PCs, tablets and other computer solutions and networking solutions for custom installations.

More details on Expert Warehouse 2 and other BrandSource plan will be at www.twice.com and in the Sept. 8 special CEDIA Expo print edition of TWICE.
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