There’s retail…and then there’s retail done right

If there’s anyone who’s taken over the retail world by storm – reflecting the colossal potential that can unfold in the global FMCG arena – its internet of things giant, Alibaba. Having recently announced its target to hit a gross merchandise volume of $1tr by 2020, the online goods guru credits its success so far to a ‘New Retail’ business model, one that sees the merger of physical and digital commerce, with the ultimate digitisation of retail operations at its core.  In a world where we continually hear about the death of the high street (yawn) and bricks and mortar retailers losing out to expanding e-commerce giants, Ubamarket is a firm fan. Our existence is proof of this! The fundamentals of a premium-hybrid experience lies in the fibres of our founding DNA. Our premise revolves around the convergence of the two channels rather than the replacement of one with the other; a mantra many a times spoken..but nailed by only a few -hence our overt appreciation and metaphoric clapping for pioneers Alibaba. I mean it takes one to know one.

The truth is, consumers still like to shop in-store, and this doesn’t just apply to older generations who grew up in a world without online shopping. A study by IBM and the National Retail Federation reveals 98% of generation Z consumers shop in store, with over two thirds (67%) stating offline is their default shopping method. Even Amazon – which now accounts for 37% of online spend – understands the value of physical shops as it prepares to expand its Amazon Go stores following its multi-billion dollar acquisition of Whole Foods.

The shift from physical to digital shopping is not a linear, one-dimensional trend; it is a dynamic evolution of multiple facets, all encompassing the digitisation/appification and many other “ations” of the entire shopping experience. We’re really looking forward to updating you on how the masters of retail at Ubamarket Towers are NAILING the formula, so stay tuned for our next launch in early October, packed with more experience enhancing features that sit in the palm of your hand AND the tips of your fingers!

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Science and Data to Solve Food Waste

Tackling the nation’s food waste challenge is high on the list of priorities for the team at Ubamarket HQ, we’ve built a selection of nifty features to ensure your double-ups and repeat purchases are kept to an absolute minimum. The Independent revealed this week how the UK’s supermarkets are using particle physics! to help solve the problem: The world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider. Morrisons is using it to make much more accurate predictions about exactly what stock it needs, and drastically reduce the amount of food that is thrown into landfill.

By using a clever algorithm, billions of pieces of data on past shopping transactions and stock levels, along with other information such as live weather forecasts, are fed into the system, which then makes around 16 million decisions every day for Morrisons. It gives shop managers the exact probability of how much of each of the tens of thousands of individual products will be sold on a given day. The algorithm then learns as more data is gathered each day – read on here: http://ow.ly/s58l30f6eMk

Ubamarket’s technology enables retailers to swat-up on behavioural insights of shoppers in store that are only available through the app. In early October, we’re going to be releasing a report that unveils exactly what these data insights are, including where and when our basket size doubles, to the aisle that turns us off the most. Stay tuned for more on this, and our exciting launch that’s around the corner!  

Small is Mighty – We Attend the Launch of ACS Local Shop Report 2017

This week, Ubarmarket Founder Will Broome attended the launch of the ACS Local Shop Report 2017. And what a day it was! Providing a comprehensive overview of what the UK’s convenience stores really mean to Britain’s retail landscape, the dominating outcome was small is most definitely mighty. The day’s panel discussions and research insights looked at the convenience stores trading in the UK, the staff that work in those stores and the customers they serve, contextualising the invaluable role the small shop plays towards society and the wider economy. The statistics were enlightening and are neatly pulled together in this short video:

Key findings from the day include that there are now just over 370,000 jobs in the convenience sector and 49,918 convenience stores in mainland UK, 74% of which are run by independent retailers.

Further stats include:

  • Sales have risen by £500m in the past year to £38bn – which makes this sector of the economy comparable in scale to other large UK sectors like recruitment, defence, and oil & gas
  • 20% of independent convenience store owners work more than 70 hours a week, while 19% take no holiday throughout the year
  • Convenience store retailers have invested over £858m in the last year on improving their stores, extending the range of services available to customers and making their businesses more efficient

Panel guests from across the nation attended the day’s events, with one of the key outcomes being that Intense competition & rising sales show that convenience stores have never been more relevant to both society and the progression of our retail economy. The full report can be found here: https://www.acs.org.uk/research/local-shop-report

Ubamarket has always been a long-standing supporter of the UK convenience store, basing some of our founding principles on the convenience model – Wednesday’s insights have fuelled our support even further and we look forward working with small shops across the nation!

Talking Ubamarket on talkRADIO 

This past week, not for the first time, Ubamarket took over the airwaves and entered the ears of radio listeners across the UK. Having previously appeared on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester, on Saturday our CEO Will Broome could be heard on talkRADIO – one of the country’s leading radio stations.

Appearing on the Gadget Hour, Will was asked to speak to talkRADIO about his amazing new retail app and how it is set to change the face of supermarket shopping forever. The news was met with a fantastic reaction by the team in the studio; presenters Andy Jaye and Emma Walsh both declared their love for the app and expressed their desire to see it rolled out in their local stores.

You can listen to the full 16-minute segment by clicking here!

Without wanting to toot our own horn too much, there has been further recognition of Ubamarket’s revolutionary potential of late. Globally renowned professional services firm KPMG recently published a new report on the future of retail.

Entitled ‘Robocalypse: Now? What the ‘Fourth industrial revolution’ means for retail’, the paper examines how new technologies – from AI and robots to apps and drones – are going to dramatically alter the retail sector. And within this industry-leading study, alongside the likes of UPS and Adidas, you can find Ubamarket; the new app that will combined in-store navigation with scanning, loyalty and checkout capabilities all built in. Check out the full report here (flick to page 19 to read about Ubamarket).

As interest in our app grows, it becomes clear that both retailers and shoppers are crying out for ways to improve the in-store experience and making buying items an all-together easier process. We look forward to updating you over the coming weeks and months on our upcoming roll-outs and new product features!

Ubamarket 2.0 is Just Around the Corner!

It’s been almost a year since the curtain was pulled back, revealing Ubamarket in all its glory. And what a year it’s been – our amazing new app has taken the UK by storm, drumming up interest left, right and centre. Just take a look at this incredible list of who’s been talking about us since we launched in our first store (and this is merely the tip of the iceberg):

While all of this amazing coverage on TV, in newspapers and on the airwaves is gratefully received, what the team at Ubamarket HQ is really excited about is the next phase of our development. In a month’s time, Ubamarket will be launching the white label version of its app.

This is a hugely important moment for us; it means that any retailer – however little or large – can get their hands on our revolutionary retail app and, more importantly, can have that app branded to their exact specifications.

What’s more, with digital loyalty cards built into the app, shoppers will be able to collect points through a retailer’s chosen scheme, doing away with the need to remember that outdated piece of plastic. And if they’re not signed up to the loyalty scheme, they can do so in seconds. That’s not even mentioning the app’s other fantastic features; our supermarket Sat-Nav will guide shoppers to their items in any store and enable them to scan their products using the app and then check-out effortlessly.

Having been dubbed “the most sophisticated supermarket out there” by The Grocer, Ubamarket has established itself at the forefront of retail tech. The next iteration of the app – the white label version – will bring this revolutionary mobile solution within the reach of thousands of retailers across the UK.

Watch. This. Space.

Loyalty Schemes More Important than Ever as Supermarket Promotions Fall

It may sometimes feel that you are bombarded by offers from retailers at every turn – whether through emails, texts, app alerts, TV adverts or in-store signage, we are exposed to lots of them on a daily basis. However, despite shoppers perhaps assuming that such practices are on the rise, new data released this week has actually proven that the opposite is true.

According to a study by IRI, supermarket promotional offers have dropped to their lowest level in a decade. The result is that shoppers are finding the weekly food shop to be more and more expensive, with fewer offers available for them to sniff out bargains or buy in bulk.

Consequently, the pressure is now on consumers to shop smarter. And the team here at Ubamarket HQ are confident that our brilliant app that will help you do just that.

In particular, our Automatic Loyalty system is a sure fire way to help you cut down on the cost of your shopping. Thanks to our Automatic Loyalty feature, every item you buy through an Ubamarket-powered app, you will automatically collect loyalty points and, in turn, save yourself money through rewards. There’s no need to remember your card, while creating a loyalty account with the scheme associated with the store you’re in is dead easy.

It was recently revealed that £6 billion sits unused within loyalty programmes across the UK because people are either unaware they are sat on a mound of points or they don’t know how to cash them in. By using an app to automatically collect and store your loyalty points, not only can you track how many you have in real-time, but you can use them to great money saving effect any time you want.

Top Tips for a More Efficient Food Shop

For many of us, in-store food shopping is more hassle than it’s worth – with the constant forgetting of loyalty cards, struggles to find items, long queues, and worst of all the non-existent ‘unexpected item’ in the bagging area. Indeed, just last year we surveyed 2,000 UK shoppers and found that 66% of us are fed up with our supermarket shopping experience.

Thankfully, last year Ubamarket also began its rollout, with plans to usher in a nationwide retail revolution and end the small tyrannies we all are forced to endure when grabbing a pint of milk or doing the weekly food shop. And because we’re experts in making the whole supermarket shopping process better, we thought we would impart some of our pearls of wisdom; to save crucial time and money, Ubamarket has compiled a list of our top tips for alleviating the inevitable rage that either comes from these in-store injustices or afterwards once you realise how much you’ve spent… or worse yet, that you forgot the items you came in for!

Input all participating loyalty schemes into a handy app

Loyalty schemes are notoriously difficult to keep track of, so why not track them in real-time and take full advantage of your personal offers with an app.

Make a list

We won’t hide our disdain for our rival – the fragile and outdated paper shopping list – but keeping track of the essentials is absolutely vital. Always be sure to note down what you go in for, not only will it ensure you don’t forget anything, but it will also stop you meandering around aimless and wasting time and money.

Consider the latest loyalty offers available

The exact number of points can sometimes be tough to track but you can rack up more points and save a lot if you stock up using the latest offers. Always keep an eye on personalised deals or mass promotions for effective savings.

Use Ubamarket (obviously!)

Nothing is more expensive than a long sojourn through the aisles – especially when children (or hungry spouses) are involved! Cut down on time and accept no second best alternatives with a little help from your smartphone. Not only will Ubamarket’s supermarket sat-nav show you were all the items on your list can be found, but we will also enable you to pay through the app so you don’t have to go through the hassle of unpacking and scanning then re-packing each item all over again.

Ubamarket reveals how we like to pay

“Cash or Card?” – that’s the question…! Or is it?

Ubamarket’s latest research, which has received significant interest from the national press, revealed that shoppers up and down the country are waiting in the wings for stores to implement in-app payment technology into their stores.

Ubamarket’s latest research was covered online in the Daily Mail and Daily Express, and in the print editions of the Daily Star and the Daily Mirror. The research also attracted the interest of retail industry-leading titles Retail System and Verdict, amongst others.

With in-store supermarkets facing an ever more competitive battle to win our loyalty, the era of long payment queues simply cannot last. Our research found that shoppers are crying out for more convenient payment options, with Ubamarket ideally placed to come to the rescue!

Supermarket shopping is really changing, as we saw both in our appearance on BBC One’s Supermarket Secrets and our latest slot on Russia Today!  As every aspect of in-store shopping starts to change beyond recognition – from the heady days of long payment queues, cash tills and unidentifiable loyalty points – there really is no excuse for retailers to frustrate their customers with inconvenient practices.

Can Online Food Shopping Ever Replace the In-store Experience?

A few years ago, many of us expected that the days of the Great British high street, and perhaps even the supermarket, may be numbered. A task force was even launched by No.10 – headed by retail guru Mary Portas – to revive the nation’s beleaguered bricks and mortar retailers in the face of the ever-growing threat coming from online shopping.

However, over the past few years shoppers have grown tired of outsized and outlandish garments that never look quite how you expect. What’s more, consumers will no longer accept receiving bruised and groceries – or even worse, unwanted replacement items – delivered to their homes.

As shoppers, we now know that being able to inspect the food you buy is really important; as the saying goes, we really do eat with our eyes. In fact, Ubamarket’s research has found that not being able to pick your own items was the biggest gripe people had with online food shopping. While online might perfectly suit those of us looking to buy a new TV, the irritation of waiting potentially days only to receive unripe bananas at your door, is now a true bugbear of food shoppers in the digital age.

Thankfully many of the problems that we traditionally had with in-store food shopping, such as outrageously long queues and difficulties finding essential items, are now being resolved – thanks to a retail revolution ushered in by your favourite app, Ubamarket.  By marrying the speed and convenience of online with the essential sensory value of the in-store experience, Ubamarket really offers shoppers the best of both worlds.

Download the Ubamarket app today and say sayonara to both long in-store queues and unsuitable food deliveries.

Ubamarket reveals how UK shoppers want to pay for goods

As week after week goes by with millions of us stuck in long payment queues in stores across the nation, Ubamarket has decided to get to the bottom of this ongoing issue. We have commissioned research among 2,000 UK shoppers to examine the frustrations they feel towards queues, cash payment, tills and self-scan machines. What’s more, we can reveal people’s favourite payment methods and how consumers think they’ll be paying for items in the years to come.

You can read all about Ubamarket’s latest research in the Daily Express!

With so many of our transactions now processed online or through smartphones, Ubamarket’s research revealed that shoppers are increasingly expecting greater efficiency and convenience from retailers, with cash payment causing shoppers to walk away. In fact, 20% of consumers – the equivalent of over 10 million people across the UK – said they consciously avoid going to any retailer who only accepts cash. We also found that, in-app payments are fast-becoming the favourite method of payment among Brits, with over half (53%) of millennials stating that they think all payments will be made via mobiles devices in five years’ time.

It also appears that shoppers are growing tired of self-scan tills, with 48% of us feeling irritated by stores’ continued reliance on these supposedly “time-saving” machines. It’s easy to understand why – not only do these self-scan tills attract their own long queues, but shoppers must also deal with the technology complaining about phantom items in the bagging area and usually requiring an assistant to come and sort matters out; it’s clear our patience is wearing thin.

Thankfully, Ubamarket has come to the rescue of the nation’s shoppers, providing effortless app-based payment, meaning you can forget about needing notes, coins or queues. You don’t have to take our word for it; you can watch Ben check-out in lightning speed as he trials Ubamarket on BBC One’s Supermarket Shopping Secrets – check out the video below!

Ubamarket on BBC One’s Supermarket Shopping Secrets from Ubamarket. Shop Smarter. on Vimeo.

Over the next five years, it appears that coins and notes will be confined to the household drawer of obsolete items. Thanks to the retail revolution ushered in by Ubamarket, all shoppers will soon have everything they need to shop simply and swiftly on their phones.