In a new step for online shopping in the Netherlands and Belgium, bol.com is introducing its own app within existing “Layar” technology, enabling customers to buy 25,000 books, DVDs, and Blu-rays by simply placing the product or an image of it – not even its barcode – in front of the camera on their smartphone. Bol.com is the first store in the Netherlands and Belgium to make such a wide range of products available through its own app, reflecting its aspiration to offer customers access to its store anywhere, anytime.
Imagine reading a rave review in your morning newspaper and thinking you'd like to buy and read the book as soon as possible. That's where the bol.com app comes in: after opening it, your smartphone scans the book or an image of it and immediately retrieves all relevant and recent product information. Just a few more easy steps and you've ordered and paid. And the app works the same with the covers of DVDs and Blu-rays, which can be scanned from the packaging or from an image in a newspaper or magazine, for example. The bol.com app is available on iOS and Android and already recognizes 25,000 products. The company aims to increase this to 50,000 products in the near future.
To create its new app, bol.com linked its Open API to the Layar Connect API, the Enterprise solution from Layar, thereby integrating the bol.com range with Layar technology. Bol.com's Open API, launched in January of this year, has so far seen external developers come up with 13 apps, including Blits (for iPad), De Winkel app for bol.com (for Android), Zoek & Scan ("Search & Scan" for Windows Phone, iPad and iPhone) and De Blauwe App ("The Blue App" for Windows Phone). These apps enable the bol.com range to be always available and accessible to customers, and at the same time enable external developers to earn commission on each item sold as bol.com's affiliate partners.
Currently, bol.com is running a competition to look for external developers who can create a special app which helps customers to choose the right festive gift. The smartest, most creative solution will be rewarded with a cash prize of €10,000.
To find out more about how the app works with Layar technology, watch this simple video.