Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grocery store shopping with a smartphone

Today is the 5th anniversary of the Apple App Store.  While Apple didn't invent the mobile app store concept, they took it to the next level and made it easier both for users to find and install apps as well as developers to distribute apps.  This innovation has spread to other platforms including Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and even "PC" platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux.  With the rapid growth of smartphones, more companies are releasing mobile applications designed to make it easier to do business, increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs through automation.  Some of my favorite mobile applications include:
  • Chase bank mobile: online banking, scan and deposit checks
  • Delta airlines mobile: view fight status, check-in, electronic boarding pass
  • Geico insurance mobile: view policy information and id cards, pay bills, report an accident, call roadside assistance
However, one thing I hadn't done until recently was use my smartphone to shop for groceries at my local supermarket, Stop & Shop.  The video below shows an overview but here are the basic steps:
  1. Install the free mobile app on iOS or Android
  2. Enter the Stop and Shop loyalty card number
  3. Connect to the in store wi-fi network
  4. Select the groceries I want off the store shelf and use the app and camera built into the smartphone to scan the UPC code as I put them in bags in my shopping card.  The app also includes electronic coupons for items based on my spending habits.  On a recent trip, I used 3 of the 8 coupons since they were for products that I regularly buy.  Two of the coupons were for items that were already on sale - an added bonus.
  5. Checkout at a special register by scanning a checkout code and scanning my loyalty card
In short, I was very happy with the mobile shopping app and I would definitely use it again.  I saved significant time checking out since the groceries were already scanned and bagged.  I also saved money by using the electronic coupons.


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