Retailers across categories are implementing a variety of mobile strategies in stores — from mobile POS to interactive apps — to create a more compelling and enjoyable shopping journey.
Compare Foods, an East Coast supermarket chain, has implemented the Swift Shopper app to add ease and efficiency to the grocery shopping experience. Created by ezCommerce Solutions, the app allows smartphone-equipped customers to scan each item as they shop, rather than at checkout, which will help the retailer significantly decrease wait times, according Omar G. Jorge Peña, Partner at Compare Foods.
“I knew Swift Shopper was the right fit for Compare Foods because it was a way for us to offer our customers all the benefits of mobile technology without any upfront investment on our part,” Peña said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We know that time is exceedingly crucial to our working-class customers and we know that Swift Shopper has the potential to cut checkout times by 50% to 75%.”
Customers can download the free app directly to their Android and iOS mobile devices, and scan product barcodes as they shop. When shoppers are ready to complete their transactions, they go to the dedicated Swift Shopper checkout line where a store associate scans a single mobile barcode that calculates the value of the entire shopping cart.
“We are confident that our customers will embrace Swift Shopper and the improved shopping experience it provides,” Peña said. “It is an amazing thing when the powers of technology are harnessed and used to truly add to our quality of life. Compare Foods always strives to make the shopping process a positive one, and Swift Shopper so neatly fits into our values: low-cost, high-quality and customer-centric.”
Quantifying The Effectiveness Of Mobile Apps
Although the Compare Foods customer base is diverse, particularly in terms of age, all frequent shoppers “are technologically savvy and often have very tight schedules,” Peña noted. “Introducing the ability to scan items using mobile phones is just one more step we’ve taken in ensuring our customers are always having the best experience.”
The Swift Shopper implementation began in late July 2013 at a Charlotte, N.C., location already equipped with the dual-line handheld scanners required to read mobile barcodes, Peña explained.
Following a three-month pilot program, Compare Foods will determine how many customers are utilizing the Swift Shopper app and how much checkout time is being saved, Peña reported. “We will couple that empirical data with feedback from customers.” If results are positive, the company plans to expand the program to eight additional locations for a more extensive “test run.” The next steps are to adopt the app across other East Coast locations and eventually nationwide.
While the Swift Shopper app has been active for only a few weeks, Compare Foods is “already hearing a lot of praise from thankful consumers,” according to Peña. Compare Foods is promoting the app throughout the store and in a weekly flyer to drive additional downloads and overall adoption.