Even in this digital age, we’re hanging on to handwritten lists for things we need to get from the store. I’ve downloaded to-do list apps to help me get things done, but none of them seem to stick – there’s still something time consuming and inconvenient about typing in lists into your phone. But Helsinki-based Snipbase, run by Silver Elephant Ltd., seems to have found a solution for shopping that is visual, quick, and easy.
The app leverages your camera to help make lists, and is easy to use in practice. For grocery shopping I just opened my fridge and pantry and took pictures of things I was running low on, which I found easier than typing items into the app. For things you don’t have in front of you, Snipbase uses an image search as you type in text to help you quickly grab pictures of the things you need.
The app has some endearing quirks too. I needed to get some chicken, and after typing “chicken” into the image search, it gives you the option of a beautiful strutting chicken to use as the image. But the app isn’t clueless. Using the same “chicken” search, it also pops up chicken breasts, chicken legs, and other images that make more sense in a grocery shopping context.
Snipbase isn’t limited to grocery shopping, of course, and they’re promoting their app for general use in the Christmas shopping season. They cite that nine in ten American shoppers still write their shopping lists on paper, while seven in ten get help from family members in the planning process.
Due to this, the app also has social features that allow you to create and share shopping lists with family and friends – a better process when you remember you need to get something while you’re at work, but forget by the time you get to the shopping list on the refrigerator at home.
“We asked ourselves why paper lists are still so popular in this digital age and concluded that available solutions have lacked severely in simplicity, social capabilities and richness of the experience”, explains Jani Tierala about the origins of Snipbase.
At launch the app is available only on iOS, but users on other platforms can get access through their web edition, which they qualify is still in beta. They’ve also released a retina-optimized iPad version, which you can find below.
Currently it’s just a simple social shopping list app, but for monetization I know that they’ve conducted a few pilots and campaigns in the digital coupons domain.