iPhone App Review: Swift Shopper

iPhone App Review: Swift Shopper

April 29th, 2013 by

Apps that help you shop are a common commodity on the App Store these days, most of them being at their core simply a list with prices and some bells and whistles to try and set them apart from the competition. Punch in what you want to buy, maybe some details like price and location, then check it off as you wander through the store. Nothing a pencil and piece of paper can’t do, just maybe a bit easier to repeat the same list for next week’s shopping trip.

ss image 1Enter Swift Shopper, a new app from developer EZ Commerce that uses the unique capabilities of a handheld computer to try and truly make your shopping easier. It’s actually not a shopping list app, at least not in the classic sense. You use it to build your list of items that are in your shopping cart as you shop, then it helps you check out faster.

How It Works

Swift Shopper works simply: point the scanner at a bar code on a product. It reads the code and adds the item to your list. At the end of your trip you will have a list of every item you picked up, along with a digital reproduction of the bar code itself. The intention is that you use these bar codes on your phone to check out, rather than digging out all of the items in your cart again and placing them on the conveyor belt (or scanning them in the self-checkout lane).

Pros and Cons

Swift Shopper is slick, fast, and stable. The scanner auto-focuses quickly and in my experience on most tries it read the bar code successfully before it had even fully focused. The resulting list includes the names and sizes of the items you’ve scanned, and you can quickly swipe through the bar codes at checkout.

ss image 2The free version includes the ability to scan and store 15 items in your list, so it’s perfect for small trips or for going through the express lane at most supermarkets. For the in-app upgrade to the “pro” version you can remove the adds, remove the item limit, and get a free update when new features are added. Some upcoming features are the ability to create a shopping list, add coupons, a rewards program and mobile payments.

My only “con” with the app is the premise that you are to hand over your phone to a supermarket checker in place of them scanning each item in your cart. If you do have more than 15 items then they will need to be removed from your cart and bagged anyway. You can get around this by using your own bags and “bagging” as you shop, but I just wonder how many supermarkets will appreciate you walking out the door with bags full of groceries while they’ve only scanned a list of barcodes from your smartphone?

Overall

Swift Shopper is a terrific idea for speeding up your shopping, especially in the self-checkout lane where you bag your own groceries anyway. If you have a local store that won’t mind taking your word for it that the electronic list on your phone is all that you have in your shopping bags, then it’s a great way to speed up checkout on your grocery shopping trips.

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