Ubamarket launches supermarket shopping app

Ubamarket is a new app which aims to help customers to plan their supermarket shopping trips based on the location of items on their shopping list.

Users can scan items to keep tally of the total purchase spend and even check out via the app.

I’ve been asking Ubamarket CEO Will Broome and DMI International (which developed the app) president Magnus Jern, about the new app and the business model behind it.

What problems does the Ubamarket app solve?

Magnus Jern: One of the top uses for a smartphone is creating a shopping list and using it while shopping for groceries.

Despite this, retailers have not done much to improve the experience since retail shopping apps were first introduced about seven years ago.

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66% of UK shoppers become frustrated when shopping in supermarkets, with over a quarter of UK consumers highlighting grocery shopping as their least favourite shopping task. Ubamarket aims to address this by simplifying the overall supermarket shopping experience.

  • More than half (59%) of smartphone users use their mobile device for their shopping lists. (NinthDecimal, Jan 2015)
  • The overwhelming majority (90%) use their smartphones in stores while shopping. (SessionM, Jul 2015).

Does the app offer features that current supermarket apps are missing?

MJ: Yes, it focuses on a providing a tool for creating a shopping list, finding the items in-store in the most efficient way possible and provides a more convenient check-out faster option.

Users can scan the items as they go and check out at mobile payment stations. Most other supermarket apps are focused on offers/coupons and online ordering of groceries.

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What were the biggest challenges you faced in creating the app?

MJ: Keeping the app customer focussed and simple was probably the biggest challenge but we stuck with the idea that if the finished app solves one customer problem really well it will be successful.

The most common challenge for shopping apps is that they are feature crammed and designed from a business perspective and not a customer perspective. Uber and our client Addison Lee are a great example of apps that stay focused on the core use cases and this is what makes them so successful.

The other challenges is ensuring that the process of scanning products is so fast and accurate that customers do it naturally as they are walk around the store.

Will the challenge be more to convince the supermarkets to use the app rather than building up the user base?

MJ: Ubamarket is initially targeted at 3,000+ supermarkets and convenience stores in the UK that don’t have their own apps.

However, they’ve also been contacted by several of the bigger supermarket chains that are interested in incorporating the technology into their own apps.

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What are the benefits for retailers?

Will Broome:

  • Loyalty. Customers will have a better experience and this will help to build customer loyalty.
  • Intelligence. The app will tell retailers absolutely everything about your customers.
  • Engagement. Retailers will be able to ‘whisper’ to customers from within their shopping lists and even send them relevant offers and gifts, based on actual data and their preferences.
  • Control. Both the retailer and their customers will be in control, for mutual benefit.
  • Savings. With a more efficient checkout process, retailers will instantly save on overheads.

How will the app make money?

WB: Retailers will pay a small set-up fee as well as a nominal annual license fee. The app is designed to be entirely scalable and so we hope to quickly roll out to thousands of stores, becoming the industry standard.

We will also enable stores to charge brands and suppliers for premium listings etc and therefore generate additional revenue streams. Ubamarket will charge a small commission on this app-enabled revenue.

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