ShopSavvy and Dropbox Combine for Shopping Productivity

Small business owners stay busy—I know because I am one. I mean, juggling a personal life, a family, a 9-5 job, and managing your own business is overwhelming. So finding the time to bargain, coupon clip, comparison shop, and price match may not be in the “I really need to set aside some time to do this” bucket of things to do.

Small business owners can also benefit from using their smartphone in conjunction with mobile apps to help them save money on everyday business needs. The ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner app for iPhone and Android devices is one of those apps that can help you save time and money by finding the best deals locally and online with just a quick scan of a product’s barcode.

ShopSavvy can read UPC, EAN, and QR codes, so it can function as your all-in-one app for all your scanning needs. The cool part of the app is that it will search its database to find the lowest price locally and online from just about every major retailer. If you find a better deal locally, the app will give you directions and other details to the store where the item is available and an indication of whether or not the item is in stock. Find the item priced better online, ShopSavvy will send you to the merchant’s eCommerce site to buy directly, or save your item(s) to buy later.

Speaking of saving stuff, If you’ve ever read just about ANY of my previous articles, you should know that I am a huge Dropbox fan. Well guess what, ShopSavvy integrates with your Dropbox account so you can save your scan history and lists you’ve made in the app to your Dropbox cloud. This is handy because it syncs your data across all of the devices connected to your Dropbox account for anytime anywhere access, no matter what device you are using.

If you are able to free up some time to hit up your neighborhood office supply store for little, but important things for your business like printer ink, download the ShopSavvy app and start scanning those items to see if you can save a buck or two…And don’t forget to write off that ink as a business expense! While you’re at it, see if you can write off the $1.99 for the cost to download the ShopSavvy app that helps you save money for your business.

I may be stretching it a bit on that one!

PaperLinks for Business: Digital Brand Interaction via QR Code

We have talked about QR Codes here on Small Biz before. The consensus was that the technology hasn’t gained complete support in the U.S…yet.

That isn’t stopping compaines like Paperlinks from being innovators in the QR Code industry. Last October, the company launched capabilities that enable users to create QR codes on just about anything and offered mini mobile sites to host the information behind the QR Code. Now Paperlinks is reaching out to its potential business clientele looking to give their customers a more interactive and digital brand experience.

Businesses can create their own Paperlinks in minutes by signing up and creating a profile on the Paperlinks website. The “Paperlinks” serve as mobile landing pages for users who scan the QR code to get more information about the product or service. Businesses can customize the Paperlinks by choosing from a number of easy-to-deploy interactive modules. Each module can be updated at any time, with changes reflected in real-time. The drag-and-drop interface makes setting up a Paperlink a snap.

Modules include: Company information; photos, videos, and other media; to promotional offers, downloads, and Social networking feeds. Businesses who use Paperlinks also have access to an account dashboard provides mobile analytics on who, where and when your Paperlink has been scanned. If those features are not enough, Paperlinks has its own free QR Code reader app for most mobile platforms that users can quickly download and get started scanning your businesses Paperlinks.

Business pricing starts at $24.99 and includes a host of features that will get your business slapping QR Codes on just about anything you can get your hands on.

Scan (and Create) QR Codes with QRDroid

Seriously, there are TONS of QR code readers out there. For Android, the simple and trusty Barcode Scanner app works just fine for Android devices. But if you want to actually create a QR code of ANY information using your smartphone, that drastically reduces the number of quality QR apps.

QRDroid on the other hand, is a complete QR code reader/generator that will not only scan QR codes from your camera, decode them from images saved in your device or from URL of images stored on internet sites; but also creates QR codes in less than one second from your contacts, bookmarks and installed applications.

You can also create a code for calendar events, phone numbers, geo-locations, sms, or any text you want. Once you generate the code, it will display on the phone’s screen so another person with a QR code reader can scan it; or you can send the code via text, email, or IM. The ability to scan QR codes found while surfing the web on your Android device is enough of an incentive for me.

But allow me to provide a real-world business application: You are at a networking event and during your pitch you mention your website. The other person is pretty tech-savvy, so they whip out his/her smartphone to type in the address. Instead of you both of fumbling around with correctly pronouncing and accurately typing in your lengthy URL (that you KNOW you should have changed), you can use QRDroid to generate a QR code that he/she can scan and immediately to be sent to your site.

It also works well if you run out of business cards and you know that very next person you talk to is going to ask for one. If they have a QR Code reader, simply take a couple of seconds to create a code so you will be ready when they extend their hand to receive your business card (that will probably end up filing away anyway).

You can get QRDroid as a free app, or you can donate $1.50 to get the ad-free version. Hit up [the new and improved] Android Market for more information/download

…or scan this QR code with your Android device

QRDroid in the Android Market

QR Code – What’s the Hold Up?

I’ve been waiting for this mobile technology to take off here in the U.S. So far the reaction/adaptation of this technology has been a steady “meh”.

If you’re not familiar with QR Code (Quick-Response Code), I’ll give you the background. It’s essentially a mobile barcode that you can encrypt with any type of information. Contact info, calendar appointments, even URL’s can be encoded via QR code for mobile devices to “scan” and decrypt the information. It’s a very quick way to pass along information to anybody using a mobile device.

Business owners can create codes to quickly get their contact info into a client’s mobile address book. Companies can create codes that will send mobile users to online coupons they can use in-store without downloading the image and figuring out how to print them to hand to the cashier. There is even a real estate company out in Wisconsin that is using QR Code as yard signs to drive home shoppers to their mobile site to find out more about the property for sale. Or just create a code to get users to your mobile site (If you are using WordPress, I certainly hope you are using a plug-in that creates a “mobile-friendly” version of your website).

Once you create the code encrypted with information like your business info. (name, address, phone number and website) you can put that code…anywhere! On the back of a business card, on flyers, on a t-shirt, as an image on your website, etc. Anybody with a QR code reader app on their mobile device can scan the code using their device’s camera and instantly, users can opt to add your information to their mobile device’s contact list.

There are tons of apps available that will enable you to create the code and most (if not all) mobile devices offer mobile apps that will scan the code to access the information. And they are not expensive at all (most are free).

Services/apps to create QR Code:

Mobile Barcodes

Mobile Apps to read QR Code:

Windows Mobile

Now i’m pretty sure you’ve seen these things out in the wild, but my question is why haven’t they taken over as the de facto way to access information via a mobile device? They are easy to make (The image in the article when scanned will take you to…you have to scan it to find out). And easy to scan – it’s just as simple as taking a pic of an image with your smart phone’s camera. So what’s the hold up?

Do U.S. companies fail to realize that a large number of people accessing the internet are doing so via their mobile devices? Some companies get it, and are using QR Codes to welcome their mobile device users:


Or is it education? Do people really know enough about QR Codes to create the demand for more entities to adopt the technology? If that’s the case then do me a favor, share this article with everybody you know so we can get the ball rolling! SmallBizGoMobile has done it’s job, now it’s time to do yours!

eBay Buys RedLaser Barcode App to Encourage Online Buying and Selling

Do you have an Ebay business?  Wouldn’t it be cool to look up eBay prices for products your are selling (or thinking about selling) by scanning barcodes with your iPhone?

Well eBay was thinking along those same lines by buying the uber-popular barcode scanning RedLaser app developed by Occipital in hopes to encourage users to scan barcodes to find and buy the item on eBay.

The RedLaser app was originally designed for shoppers to scan barcodes of physical products to compare prices in surrounding brick and mortar stores. And it was a hit too, getting downloaded over 2 million times since it was put up in the Apple App Store. eBay is looking to duplicate that success with giving users the ability to not only search for the best price at local physical stores, but to expand that search throughout it’s 200 million listings on eBay. RedLaser will be a free app from eBay and will be integrate listings from all the eBay iPhone apps (including StubHub and

RedLaser was originally a $1.99 app, but by dropping the price to a whopping free.99, eBay hopes to get that money back by way of increasing the number of shoppers using its app to scan barcodes of physical products and finding a better virtual prices online. As more people recognize the power of mobile technology and feel more secure with buying items online, the RedLaser app by eBay should bring in some BIG numbers for eCommerce businesses looking to expand their customer base to those mobile pros, as well as casual shoppers just looking for a better deal.