Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Shop Social: The Adventures of a Barcode Scanning App in the Wild


School of Computing and Information Systems


Padnos College of Engineering and Computing

Date Range





Mobile retail is a space rich with plausible hypotheses but sparse on longitudinal datasets that give us a corpus of user behavior to validate or disprove theories around the use of digital devices in a physical store. Popular price comparison apps such as ShopSavvy have shown that a smartphone in the aisle is a reality that brick-and-mortar retailers have to contend with. A nuanced, data-driven understanding of a smartphone powered shopper might enable store-based retailers to leverage the smartphone rather than fear it as something that leads to sales erosion. To this end, we built and deployed a novel, mobile retail app that blends mobile, media and social capabilities. In this paper, we describe the user needs and design axioms behind the app, and the data that we’ve collected over the course of its use by about 5,500 users over the period of a year.

Conference Name

4th International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications, and Services

Conference Location

Seattle, Washington

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