Sainsbury’s is ahead of the game with first in-store app

Sainsbury’s has just become the first UK supermarket to launch an in-store app, one that allows customers to scan items as they shop and pay for them at the till without needing to unload, and marketers everywhere need to take note. It offers the chance for more tailored marketing campaigns with one-to-one mobile personalisation being a very real possibility, and with customers expecting more interaction and engagement from their relationships with brands this is a huge step in the right direction.

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The “Mobile Scan & Go” app is available for both Android and iPhone, and it works as such: customers use their smartphone’s camera to scan the barcodes of products they’re putting into their trolley, the app tracks what’s been bought and how much is spent, then customers pay at the till in the usual way with the help of a handy QR code. It’s even linked to the Nectar loyalty scheme so customers can still collect points and redeem coupons as they shop, and because there’s no need to unload items at the checkout and wait ages for them to be scanned through it can drastically cut the amount of time you have to spend at the till.

It’s currently being trialled in three stores and, if it goes well, could be rolled out across the country. It won’t stop there either as there are even bigger plans afoot—Sainsbury’s will be able to use the data collected to target customers with relevant and tailored promotions as they shop, messaging each customer directly and forming a valuable one-to-one relationship with them. This opens up huge potential and can be a great way to encourage more personalised interactions which is, after all, where marketing as a whole is heading, and although it’s unlikely that the scheme will replace the traditional checkout arrangement it’s a fantastic move for the chain—people are becoming more reliant on their smartphones so tapping into that can only lead to good things, and given the fact that it’s beaten its rivals it’s a huge coup for the brand and one that should be taken note of.

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