That’s what this new (and free) iPhone app--TheFind: Where to Shop--aims to do. TheFind: Where to Shop bridges the gap between online and brick-and-mortar stores. It’s capable of accessing an index of more than 250 million products at about 200,000 store locations. TheFind: Where to Shop is essentially a product search engine for the iPhone with many of the capabilities of TheFind.com, which released the app recently.
Let’s suppose I'm looking for a desk chair. I enter "desk chair" into the search bar and I decide to limit my search to local stores because I want to try the chair before I buy.
In my case, my search produces a list of 25 local stores. I see there’s an office supply store only 8 miles from where I live, so I tap the store’s name to see what they have to offer. Whoa, from the product descriptions, photos and prices, I can see they sell high-end chairs beyond my budget.
I decide to try the name of a national retail chain and I see they have a few options, so I decide to go there. I can read the address and the distance in miles from my house, but I don’t know how to get there. I tap the directions button, and iPhone’s built-in map shows me the way. Off I go.
I get there, sit on all the chairs and find one I really like. But wait, I wonder if I can’t find it cheaper somewhere else. Out comes my iPhone, a few searches of other local stores doesn’t come up with anything else like it.
I decide to check out Web sites instead. A few more taps and I find it online, and on sale to boot, for a lot less, so I decide to order it. I got such a good deal on that chair, I’m willing to sit and wait for the UPS guy.
What TheFind: Where to Shop promises to do, it does reasonably well. Heck, it’s free, so I can afford to be generous in my assessment of it. But I have a couple of beefs. One, TheFind: Where to Shop's stores are limited to companies it has partnerships with so it’s possible—even likely—I’ll miss out on some product options and good deals. Two, navigating TheFind: Where to Shop is a bother because while it’s easy to find items, it’s not so easy to work your way back to find other products and places without having to start your search from the very beginning.
If you’re willing to accept those limitations, you’ll find TheFind: Where to Shop to your liking.
- misc reference