It was June 2010 and I was pounding my head on my desk. We were starting to build our next generation mobile coupon application – Pushpins but were missing one key piece, Universal Product Codes (UPCs).
The way our app would work is that a user would scan the barcode of a product and it would return all the mobile coupons related to that product. Shoppers could then instantly redeem them in-store by just swiping their store loyalty card. Cool, right?
We were ready to go. We had a inventory of coupons and stores to deliver them in. But none of those barcodes that you see on the back of the products at the grocery store! We searched far and wide for a national database. It had to exist, right? WRONG!
What we found were a bunch of options, that just didn’t work for small businesses like us.
- Too Expensive: Large company who wanted to license their UPC database for $100k+ per year.
- Pain in the A$$: Consultants who wanted to license databases for $25K+ per year.
- Inaccurate & Wrong: User generated databases with millions of UPCs, but incorrect product info.
- Too Basic: Basic APIs (e.g. Google Base), which were limited & had some sketchy info (Guns = Baby Food?).
Rather than forking over a ton of money or going with something that wasn’t any good, we decided to build something better.
Over the past few months, we’ve been working to bring product data to the masses through an easy to use API. The very same API we use for our own app, Pushpins.
Today, I’m proud to announce, SimpleUPC, an easy and affordable way for web and mobile developers to integrate rich product information, nutrition, and high-quality images to their applications.
Not only will it tell you the UPC, 0-12000-00050-8, is for Diet Pepsi, but also:
- Manufacturer: PepsiCo
- Category: Soda
- Size: 12 oz
- Nutrition Facts: Calories, Fat, Carbs, Servings, etc.
- Product Image: the same ones that are used in store circulars!
Best of all its at a price that works for web and mobile developers (e.g. NOT $100K/yr!). There is also zero risk to test it out because everyone who signs up gets a free trial.
And I can promise you, it’s simple to use. As a challenge, our CTO asked me (someone who never took a computer science class in their life) to build an app in under an hour using SimpleUPC. 30 minutes later – I came back with this.
I’m sure the things that you will build will be so much cooler. From shopping lists and nutrition trackers, to price comparison tools and voice-activated product search. The options are endless with SimpleUPC.
I want to leave you with this. Until today, it was a pain in the butt to include rich product info in your web and mobile apps. Never again. Focus on your product and let us deal with the UPCs.
Go sign-up for your free trial today!