Sainsbury’s to launch shop-and-go smartphone app
The app, which is currently in development and will be trialed at the grocer’s Wandsworth supermarket later this year, will allow shoppers to scan barcodes of the items they need while at home and add them to a shopping list.
A live pricing feature will update the shopping list with current store prices, allowing consumers to see how much their basket will cost. When the user then enters the store, Sainsbury’s wi-fi will bring up a map pinpointing where the items on their shopping list are stocked.
This follows the recent news that Sainsbury's has halved its Nectar reward scheme to just one point for every £1 spent in store and stopping any extra points for customers using their own bags.
The supermarket giant faces a potential loss of customers, with discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl looking likely to be the winners.
“We have decided to stop shopping at Sainsbury’s and buy most of our food at the Aldi near us. They don’t have any reward schemes, but the food is cheaper and the quality is just as good, if not better with some items,” says Peta Miller, a regular Sainsbury’s shopper.
However, Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of retail analysts IGD, says: “Loyalty cards remain an important tool for grocery retailing. Seven out of 10 shoppers tell us the ability to use one is an important factor when choosing where to do their food shopping. This compares to six out of 10 who said the same in 2011.”
For those who continue to value loyalty points both Tesco and Morrisons have schemes that reward. Tesco’s Clubcard scheme effectively offers a 1% discount on shopping at the supermarket if not swapped for special rewards.
Furthermore, to counter the Nectar card blow, Sainsbury’s has launched a deal on petrol for Nectar card holders, who can now get 10 points per litre of fuel purchased at Sainsbury’s petrol stations, instead of the usual one, until 10 May.
The app can then be used to scan the barcodes as customers place goods in their basket. Once finished they can pay using the mobile by taking a photo of their card in a designated area or at the Self Check out.
Sainsbury’s digital chiefs are planning a full roll out of the app in 2016.
The grocer’s boss Mike Coupe said: “The mobile scan and go technology will end up being adopted across the industry.
“I think Brand Match took about a year to be copied across the industry, so I think that’s about the length of time we’ve got on this as a competitive advantage.
“But I think where we can win is with our customer interaction, offering them alternative products because they suit their lifestyle for example. Over time we can do a better job of that.”