Anaheim, Calif. - The BrandSource buying group has added a host of new features to its year-old mobile app, including a price comparison chart to help combat showrooming.
The chart, first announced at the group's spring meeting in February, displays pricing for up to three products at a time at local stores and online retailers.
"Showrooming is a very controversial issue in this business, but we encourage members to embrace it rather than combat it," said BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence. "The ... app gives members a very strategic and timely opportunity to do something while the customer is with them, like meeting the competitive price, providing free delivery or offering an extended warranty. The BrandSource app lets everyone make an informed decision, on the spot. It's much better than losing the customer and having no chance at all."
In addition to instant comparison pricing, a new "push to" notification feature allows group members to instantly send sales offers and other compelling messages, along with driving directions and email or telephone contact information, to nearby app holders to help drive store traffic.
Members and shoppers can also access real-time inventory availability through the group's Expert Warehouse distribution program.
The app also offers 15 new price tag templates that allow for easy printing of product names, features, pricing and rebate information. It can also instantly print brochures, including spec sheets with the member's store logo and contact information.
The app also allows members to read the group's internal weekly news update, promotional calendar, zero-percent promotions information, and market reports.
"We're always working on improvements and are pleased with the response we've received from members and customers," said Bob Donaldson, the group's digital communications VP. "The ... app has become a critical sales tool for our members. Because the information is updated on a daily basis with instant information on manufacturer's rebates and other incentives, they are using it frequently."
Added Lawrence: "We want our members and their salespeople to provide a customer with meaningful information without ever having to leave their side. He added that the group is working on even more new features that will be previewed at BrandSource's August convention in Las Vegas.
The app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times since its launch last year, the group said.