Supermarket chain Countdown launched their iPhone app recently, which rounded off the end of a frustrating week for NZ Android users following the release of iOS apps for Countdown, Kiwibank and even – shock horror – Google+, none of which showed the love for Android.
Much was said about this on the social networks. Much. Tip for mobile dev teams – don’t ignore the Android market!
Back to the Countdown shopping app. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is very similar to the Woolworths smartphone app released in Australia in August 2011.
You can create shopping lists, find your nearest store based on your GPS location, view weekly specials, check your loyalty card (OneCard) balance, browse recipes that can add ingredients to your shopping list and then go to the mobile shopping website where you can load items from your list to be delivered to your door. Awesome!
But my favourite favourite feature is the barcode scanner. You can use this to scan the barcode of empty packets (before you pop them in the recycling bin) and they will be added to your shopping list. I put this to the test on several items close to hand. Here is one:
I was pleased to find I could save 60c! I haven’t done a crosscheck at the actual store to see if the aisle location is up to date, but if it is, that is superb. Having a shopping list saved on your phone, listing the items you need aisle by aisle has got to be a great timesaver. When I chatted to some other people about this, they said the reason they always go to the same store (despite moving house etc) is because they know where everything is.
New stores are like foreign countries but without a map.
Improvements I hope will be coming in future releases:
- Realtime shareable lists – great for families, flats or anywhere where there may be more than one person doing the supermarket shopping for the household. Would even be handy for trips away with a group of friends to avoid everyone buying Ready Salted Chips and no-one remembering the sweetened condensed milk for the dip.
- Syncing between iDevices – I installed the app on my iPhone and my iPad but the lists don’t appear to sync.
- Optional push notifications for my favourite items (see above) when they are on special (and one touch to add to my latest list).
- An iPad app
- Ability for customers to rate and review products
- Recommendations based on items I have bought (including a recommended shopping list)
- Redemption of OneCard rewards via the app
- Options to share specials etc on social media from the app
- More knife stamps. Just kidding.
Overall, good work Countdown and the developers at Tigerspike. I read somewhere (here actually) that the app was a year in the making, and I’d imagine it will be enthusiastically received by shoppers. Feedback on Facebook & Twitter (putting aside the aggrieved Android users) was very positive. You can download the app here.
And in other news, it has been noted that Countdown is also advertising instore that they are now on Twitter. However their account is strangely locked - perhaps waiting for a launch campaign for their Android app which they have indicated is in the works….?
I wrote a previous post about Countdown here