Sainsbury’s trials m-commerce app that could unify offline and online

Picture credit: Sainsbury's

UK supermarket Sainsbury’s is conducting trials of a new shopping app that will allow consumers to add items to a shopping basket on their smartphone while browsing products in-store.

Consumers are set to benefit by being able to create a virtual basket of their favourite products from any location before they shop. Of course, Sainsbury’s benefit from lengthening the purchasing funnel so that it has a single customer view across online and offline.

Other app features include directing consumers around the shop to find predicted items more quickly and the option to avoid till queues completely by scanning items at the shelf and paying through mobile.

Loyalty data

Sainsbury’s recently announced it would be cutting the value of Nectar points, which could cause a drop in consumer usage of the card. However, by rolling out the new m-commerce app the supermarket will be more than capable of covering off any shortfall in loyalty data from its Nectar changes.

The app will likely provide far more detailed insights on consumer spending patterns that could give Sainsbury’s the power to completely personalise its shopping experience for individual consumers across desktop, mobile and brick and mortar.

Although the app is currently in a limited trial phase, the supermarket is already planning its future roadmap. It wants to offer greener home delivery options where consumers can book slots in a vehicle if it is destined for a neighbour as well as the possibility to make bookings on the half hour as well as the hour.

Bargain buyers

Jon Rudoe, Sainsbury’s digital and technology director, is hoping that the supermarket’s new mobile commerce product will persuade discount hunters and showroomers to shop in-store too.

"We know that customers’ weekly shop doesn’t start at our front door – they know what they like and they also like that search for a bargain,” he said.

"They still want to come into store - but with limited time, they want to be able to get their shop done quickly.

Trials are taking place at stores over the coming weeks, with Sainsbury’s looking to make the app available to Nectar cardholders later next year.

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