Mobile app backed by Packer goes live with new focus

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 26 November 2015

After a pilot and a shift in its focus, Booodl is back with the aim to change how Australians shop.

The app, funded by James Packer, Erica Baxter, Square Peg Capital and Matthew Grounds, has been in the works for a while but after a change in direction the app officially launches today with the aim to end consumers' frustration of not finding what they need to buy this Christmas.

Booodl works by asking users to enter items they are hoping to buy and then it uses location services to send users a push notification when they are near a store that has the items on their wish lists in stock.

The launch of Booodl follows a Sydney-based pilot program with local retail partners including JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Rebel Sport, Nike and Aesop. During the trial 31,600 products were added to users’ lists, 12,500 reminder notifications were sent to nearby shoppers, and over 6200 messages were exchanged between stores and customers.

The app was previously positioned as a rival to visual discovery tool, Pinterest, however changed focus early this year to its current e-commerce play.

Rebecca Supanovich, client services director at Soap Creative, said the concept of the app works well and could be extended outside of the Christmas season.

“Booodl can work - the core idea of a shopping list paired with store inventory plus push notifications is a strong one. Plus the messaging functionality is an excellent feature which enables Booodl to tap into the 'I want it now' shopper mindset," she said.

“But Booodl will only ultimately succeed if it's used by Australians on a daily basis, not just during specific periods like Christmas. If Booodl can expand its offering to make it compelling year-round, it could prove very popular.”

To correspond with the launch the app, the business commissioned research that found Australians wasted more than 68 million hours last Christmas, four hours per person, unsuccessfully searching for stores stocking presents they needed to purchase.

Booodl co-founder and CEO, George Freney, said Booodl was born out of his own frustration at continually forgetting to buy products when at the shops.

“I hate wasting time. Once I know what to buy, I want a smart app that helps me find the closest store, reminds me when it’s convenient to visit the store, and lets me message them to confirm details before heading in,” he said.

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