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Idealog—in the ideas business

Countdown ups the interactive factor with mobile shopping app

Countdown's upping the customer experience ante with the launch of its iPhone app that features a digital shopping list and barcode scanning technology, as well as the ability to check prices, find recipe ingredients, collect loyalty points and shop online.

The Tigerspike-made app provides an aisle-ordered shopping list that synchronises with your preferred store, making it easier to find products on supermarket shelves. It will even let you know how much your shopping will cost before you leave the house – though pricing isn't real time.

“Supermarket retailing continues to be transformed through the innovative use of technology, whether it’s electronic payments, online shopping, self serve checkouts or QR codes,” says Bridget Lamont, general manager of marketing at Countdown.

“In the past few years, we’ve seen the explosion of mobile phone applications and now we’ve got one that will change the way Kiwis shop at the supermarket. This app means paper shopping lists are a thing of the past."

The app also links to Countdown’s rewards programme, where customers can check their Onecard points balance and also check for any price promotions on products they regularly buy via the mySpecials feature. Users can also go old-school and access the latest Countdown mailer. And they can scan the barcodes of used products from their pantry before they throw them away, automatically adding them to their shopping list.

The recipe function allows customers to access a range of recipes and then automatically add ingredients to their shopping lists. Plus the checkout function lets shoppers pick their groceries and have them delivered straight to their home via Countdown’s online shopping service.

Around the world, online grocery delivery is showing impressive growth, with Nielsen predicting online purchases of consumer packaged goods in the US will more than double to $25 billion by 2014. Some big players like Amazon are also getting into the grocery delivery market and Countdown’s Luke Schepen says there’s a similar trend in New Zealand, with double digit growth in terms on online sales.

As for the marketing, Schepen says Countdown will certainly be telling customers about the new app and there is some above-the-line activity planned to promote it.

The Countdown app is now available for free download from the Apple App Store, and will launch on Google Play for Android in the next couple of weeks.

This story originally appeared on StopPress.


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