Walmart announced the release of a new application for the iPhone and iPad that allows shoppers to scan products, make voice-activated shopping lists and browse store inventory.
The move is part of the latest attempt by retail stores to capitalize the digital market.
The app allows shoppers to scan both bar codes and QR codes, according to reports. The shopping lists created by users will also search automatically for coupons, giving customers the best possible price on products.
The app can also remember items frequently added to shopping lists. It even tallies the total price of scanned items, letting customers know what their trip will cost before hitting the checkout lines.
“We look at this as a great opportunity to help our customers shop better with Walmart and have a much more convenient way to access our low prices,” said Gibu Thomas, Walmart’s senior vice president of mobile and digital, to The Washington Post.
The iPad app, released last week, is a hit with shoppers, Thomas said. The release of the app comes at a time when digital sales are increasing.
Mobile sales accounted for roughly 10 percent of all commercial sales in the United States in October, according to statistics from IBM Coremetrics. That number nearly tripled from the same time last year.
Macy’s, Sears and other retailers also are using apps to help increase consumer spending in their retail stores. Walmart also has an app available for Google Android users featuring much of the same services as the Apple app.
The company sees the digital marketplace as an important part of Walmart’s future, according to reports.
About a third of the store’s customers had smart phones in 2010, according to store statistics. Industry analysts expect the number of smartphone users to increase over the coming months and years, topping 50 percent by the end of the year.