How Can Ubamarket Make Prince Harry’s Life Easier?

It’s official: Prince Harry does his own food shopping. In a wide-ranging interview with Newsweek, the 32-year-old revealed: “I do my own shopping. Sometimes, when I come away from the meat counter in my local supermarket, I worry someone will snap me with their phone. But I am determined to have a relatively normal life.”

Ok, some people might have focused on other bits of the interview – like the parts about the loss of his mother or his time in the army – but here at Ubamarket HQ, this was the part that really pricked our ears. We wonder what he has on his shopping list… some king prawns perhaps, or King Edward potatoes? Whatever’s on his regal list, it’s an interesting revelation. After all, if even the Royal Family is popping to the local supermarket to do their own food shop, then there really is a need to make the experience far less strenuous.

Ubamarket’s research has uncovered that 66% of UK consumers find supermarket shopping frustrating. And why wouldn’t they – with long queues, hard to find items and forgotten loyalty cards driving customers round the bend, we need to find a better way to shop.

In fact, it was his annoyance at impractical supermarkets that led to Will Broome, Founder of Ubamarket, having his Eureka moment! He realised that with a little technological innovation and a lot of elbow grease, we could take all the stresses and strains out of buying food. And so Ubamarket was born.

Ubamarket™ – Shop Smarter from Ubamarket. Shop Smarter. on Vimeo

As Ubamarket prepares to roll out across the UK in the coming months and years, we’re confident that the world of supermarket shopping will never be the same again. So, whether you’re a 32-year-old Prince at the meat counter of his local store, or a mum-of-two desperately trying to find the nappies, Ubamarket is here to make food shopping quick, easy and rewarding for all!

The Truth behind Shoppers’ Love-Hate Relationship with Loyalty Schemes

Retail loyalty schemes can been traced back as far as the late 18th century, when retailers in America began offering customers copper tokens that they could redeem during future visits in return for free or discounted items. In the intervening 250 or so years, loyalty programmes have become far more commonplace and slightly more advanced, but the underlying principle remains the same – retailers understand that they must offer customers rewards for their repeat business.

However, despite loyalty schemes establishing themselves as an accepted norm in the retail industry, the way these benefits are delivered to the customer are far from perfect. To dig deeper into this issue and uncover the truth behind Britain’s love-hate relationship with loyalty programmes, Ubamarket has conducted a survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers. As you may have seen, this week the intriguing insights from our research featured in the Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and Metro!

So what did we uncover?

Ubamarket’s research found that the majority (59%) of consumers are signed up to at least three different loyalty schemes. Moreover, almost half (46%) of shoppers said they choose to buy items in certain shops over others based on the points they can earn through a store’s loyalty scheme.

But despite the clear draw of loyalty points, there remains mass frustration with the current system. Three tenths (30%) of UK adults say they’ve lost track of how many loyalty schemes they’re signed up to, while 25% said they have no idea how many points they have on their loyalty cards and would not know how to find out. The findings come as research shows that a massive £6 billion sits unclaimed in loyalty accounts with the UK’s leading retailers. And wait; there’s more! A quarter of consumers say they regularly forget their loyalty card, blaming the current system for being outdated and “inefficient”.

The message from the survey is clear – shoppers love loyalty, but retailers have to make it much easier for customers to collect, track and claim their points.

We’re here to help!

Thankfully, Ubamarket solves this very problem (among many others!); forget fumbling through pockets and bags to find the right loyalty card – if you’ve even brought it with you – we integrate a store’s loyalty programme into our next-generation supermarket app. This enables the shopper to automatically gather points on every purchase – they can then see and reclaim their points with a single tap of their phone.

The future has arrived – now is the time for retailers to embrace it!

Turning a Supermarket into an Ubamarket

Long queues, scraps of paper and a large number of people left wanting a different outcome – in many ways, yesterday’s General Election was actually quite similar to many people’s experience of supermarket shopping . In 2016, we surveyed more than 2,000 consumers in the UK, finding that a massive 66% of them are frustrated by the supermarket shopping experience – long queues (35%) and struggling to get the items they want (15%) were among shoppers’ most commonly-cited grievances.

However, as the dust settles on a shock election result, the team here at Ubamarket HQ are in celebration-mode – we’re toasting to the fact that we’ve created a brilliant new supermarket app that promises to do away with tediously slow queues, scrawled shopping lists on bits of loose paper, forgotten loyalty cards and unhappy customers!

By implementing Ubamarket in their supermarket or convenience store, retailers can drastically enhance the customer experience. To explain how it works for the uninitiated: our app takes your shopping list (written in the app); re-orders the list into the order that your items are located in the store; gives you details about where each item can be found; enables you to scan each item and place it in your bag; and then check-out via the app, without the need for any more queues! If all of that wasn’t enough, shoppers can also keep track of their spend as they go, get alerts for promotional deals on the items they want, and collect automatic loyalty points every time they shop with the app.

The result is that our app will turn any supermarket into an Ubamarket.

So, as Westminster scrambles to form a new government, Ubamarket enters the future full of hope and lofty ambitions. Our manifesto promise is simple: change the way we shop forever; and we have some exciting developments lined up over the coming months and beyond as we stride towards achieving this goal!

Save money and lighten your wallet with Ubamarket

As the pound tumbles along and food prices rise for the more exotic and trendy food items, many of us do our best to maximise the power of our pound. Helping us to do so is the trusty supermarket loyalty card, manifesting in all manners, with multiples stored in wallets, attached to key-chains and rammed in kitchen drawers. As a nation – we love them – and rightly so; we earn around £5.7billion a year from loyalty schemes, with 86% of Brits partaking in loyalty schemes in 2017.

Even for the most organised of us, ready to go with massive wallets full of cards, it’s still a pain having to lug them around. Especially in the middle of “Supermarket Wars” when it really does pay to shop around more than ever before! Whether you’re more of a drawer ruffler or you carry a briefcase full of loyalty cards, in a world where we can hop on a train and even pay for our shopping just by tapping our phone, the loyalty points system really is in need of a tech revolution – cue Ubamarket!

Over the coming weeks and months, there will be some incredibly exciting app features that will debut their status on Ubamarket, one of which includes an automated loyalty points tracking and management system, complete with in-store discounts managed in real-time! Ubamarket is a solution that integrates into multiple store formats, meaning you are able to manage multiple loyalty accounts on one perfectly formed, watermelon shaped app. What’s more, by downloading the app, you can also incorporate existing loyalty card numbers so that your shopping and points history are never lost. By making your wallet a lot lighter and consigning sticky loyalty cards to the kitchen drawer of history, Ubamarket will allow you to stay on top of the latest points offers available at participating local supermarkets, navigating you around and back to the pay-point before you can say “where’s my card?!”.

Download Ubamarket today to be part of a smarter, faster loyalty nation.

The World of Supermarket Shopping is Changing

Whether you like it or not, it is irrefutable that the world of supermarket shopping is changing; consumer demands and external market pressures are forcing food retailers to evolve their practices and deliver products that are better suited to the 21st century.

Take this past week as an example – on Sunday a selection of food-security specialists and doctors warned that the chemicals found in plastic packaging are potentially dangerous if consumed every day, which could cause major disruption to food manufacturers. Then, later in the week, the UK’s supermarkets joined forces to announce a renewed effort to sell imperfect produce, such as wonky carrots or bruised bananas.

Food wastage, health issues, competitive pricing and environmental concerns are just a few of the notable influences that are forcing supermarkets to re-evaluate their products. However, it’s not just the products that have to change – the way these products are sold is also evolving all the time.

We are increasingly used to seeing new technologies – from apps to virtual reality – become intertwined with the retail experience. For example, much was made of the Amazon Go concept store when it was revealed earlier this year. As this disruption continues, Ubamarket is perfectly placed to play a big part in retail’s tech revolution; dubbed ‘the most sophisticated supermarket app out there’ by The Grocer, our white-label solution can be used in any supermarket. As such, we expect 2017 to be the year when Ubamarket arrives in a supermarket near you!

If you’re still unclear on exactly what Ubamarket does, fear not – this handy video will tell you all you need to know…

Ubamarket™ – Shop Smarter from Ubamarket. Shop Smarter. on Vimeo

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Ubamarket appearing in your local supermarket!

How Ubamarket will give purpose to ‘wearable tech’…

A couple of years ago the world collectively decided that we could confidently predict what’s coming next in the rapid world of consumer technology.  After failing to foresee Facebook (too like Friends reunited), Linkedin (too boring) Twitter (too basic), Instagram (just filters, really?) and Snapchat (too annoying), we all took a collective breath and settled upon something called ‘Wearable Tech’ as the next game-changing tech movement.

The next step in bleeding edge tech was…erm…to wear it or, perhaps more accurately, strap it on.  Clearly, ‘Strap-on’ tech was deemed a mixed message so ‘wearable tech’ became a somewhat surprisingly short lived moniker.  It’s perhaps even more surprising because tech giants like Google made exactly the same mistake.  Their Google Glass seemed pretty cool, if a little geeky, and just about ‘minority report’ enough to almost work – in the same way that Marty McFly’s self tying Nikes almost work and are still on my Christmas list, where they’ve been a permanent (although unrealised) fixture since 1985!

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Probably the most high profile early stage ‘wearable’, Google Glass, came and went along with other overly avant-garde things such as the innovative (though ahead of it’s time) Pebble Watch which has now been acquired by one of the few wearable success stories, Fitbit, itself experiencing slowing sales. Jawbone, another pioneering brand of it’s time in the fitness tracking market has recently announced that it’s effectively shutting down its consumer activity to focus on healthcare providers in a B2B capacity.  It goes on. Microsoft have discontinued their ‘fitness band’ too, deeming it not successful enough to pursue. It’s clear that the one area where wearable tech has succeeded is in the personal fitness space but even that is a limited market with not enough bandwidth to support more than three or four brands and for a behemoth like Microsoft to be squeezed out, well that’s saying something.

I’ve even attended a business pitch where a company was raising funds for cycling jackets with built-in flashing indicators and hi-vis jackets with ‘hazard lights’ (that look like Christmas lights) and, only a year ago, hard-nosed investors lapped it up!

So, what’s the problem?  What did Microsoft and Google get so wrong? Well, not much in fact. It’s not so much about ‘wearable tech’ not being fit for purpose, it’s more about it’s reliance on smartphones and secondary ‘support’ devices which seem to have dealt the sector a debilitating blow.

The second generation Apple Watch is getting close and is, potentially, breaking new ground. Sales are strong and it’s almost worthy of being recognized as a stand alone device. But there’s still a problem.

Well, in Ubamarket’s case, two problems.

Firstly, it still relies to a great extent on an iphone support device to power many of the features (this is fiddly and a hassle) – including the admittedly decreasingly prominent phone feature. Secondly, and way more importantly, there’s no camera.

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Now, if it had a camera, this is how Ubamarket could work.

“Siri – add milk, cheese, eggs and bread to my shopping list”

Walk into the store, tap each item against your Apple watch, pay with Apple pay and walk out.  Now that is the future of shopping. And way more simple, achievable, flexible, scalable, universal and affordable than Amazon Go will ever be.

Suddenly, wearable tech is fast, seamless and hugely valuable to anyone who goes shopping which, by the way, is all of us.

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The current problem with wearable tech is actually very simple. It doesn’t really do anything that your phone doesn’t already do and, what’s more, it still relies on you having your phone with you to make it work.  “Why take one device when you can take two?” is never a slogan that’s going to catch on in the tech world. Put a phone (and a camera) in a watch and wearable tech will have many purposes beyond being a phone, a camera and a watch…

From Zero to Hero: The Ubamarket Story So Far

October 2016 was a momentous month for us, and for Budgens’ flagship store in Moreton-in-Marsh. That was, after all, when the world got its first taste of “the most sophisticated supermarket app out there” and when we finally got to see Ubamarket in action for the first time.

This landmark moment for us came after not just months, but years of blood, sweat and tears; as you can imagine, an awful lot of hard work had been put in before Ubamarket launched in its first supermarket. In fact, Ubamarket’s story actually starts way back in 2011… on aisle 9 of a supermarket, to be precise, where a bewildered Will Broome (CEO and Founder of Ubamarket) had that eureka moment! After wandering inefficiently from aisle to aisle trying to find all the things he needed for that night’s dinner, Will thought to himself: “Wouldn’t it be cool if you walked into a supermarket and your shopping list was magically put into the right order?”

The rest, as they say, is history…

Indeed, things have moved faster than an out of control shopping trolley since then, with new partners coming on board and some of the biggest publications across the land (from the Telegraph and Good Housekeeping, to the Daily Mail and The Grocer) covering the fantastic news that shopping is going to be transformed for ever.

So, to celebrate this stratospheric rise to fame, the Ubamarket team thought it was time to spill the beans and share our story so far with you.  In fact, we would rather navigate you through our tale – from conception, past the many aisles full of important ideas and partnerships, down to the check-out full of happy customers and intrigued newspapers.

Check out how we got to where we are now in our brand new infographic; as you’ll see, it’s been quite a journey!

Costly Chocolate Frogs & the Courgette Crisis: How to Weather the Storm with Ubamarket

It’s been a tough week in the world of food retail. What with the courgette crisis and Freddo price hike, customers are going hopping mad all over the place.

Sadly, we can’t dictate the RRP on confectionary amphibians, nor can we control the rain in Spain to help make courgetti spaghetti. But, we can help you prevent the price of your shop from spiralising out of control. Yes, even in such crazy times as these, Ubamarket can help you save your hard earned cash when you head to the supermarket.

After all, heading to the shops for food can be something of a lottery; if you’re feeling lazy, or hungry, or just have a lot of expensive cravings then before you know it the price of your shopping basket has gone through the roof. What’s more, with prices rising left, right and centre, it might be time to keep a closer eye on your supermarket spend. The only problem is that this requires more time and effort. Well, it does if you do it yourself anyway.

Luckily, you don’t have to anymore because Ubamarket is here to save the day – speeding up your shop while protecting your wallet! With our amazing app, when you scan-as-you-go we will not just help you cut down on till time at the end of your shop, but we will be totalling up your bill every step of the way. This means that you are able to see, in one quick glance, whether you have gone a bit bananas in store. And, not only will we help you keep an eye on the price of  your food shop, we will also collect automatic loyalty points for you as you shop, helping you save money without the need for you to fumble around for one of your six loyalty cards.

One app to rule them all!

What does 2017 have in Store for Ubamarket and the Retail Industry?

2017 is going to be a big year for retail – it’s going to be the year that things get seriously technical. We’ve already had the launch of the Amazon Go concept store, and it looks sure that the coming 12 months will see technology become an increasingly important part of our shopping experiences. And food retail is certainly no exception.

This is great news for you because it will make things faster, smarter and easier. For retailers this will mean that keeping up-to-date on all the latest tech trends is going to be extremely important when it comes to keeping you happy.

Of course, Ubamarket hopes to play a big part in retail’s tech revolution. As a white label solution that can be used in any supermarket and, as The Grocer called us, ‘the most sophisticated supermarket app out there’, we expect 2017 to be the year where you will see many more supermarkets join our ranks.

After all, why wouldn’t they? Since we pulled back the curtain and revealed Ubamarket to the world in the summer of 2016, the response of the press to our new app has been remarkable. And this year has seen more of the same, with the actual BBC coming down to film Ubamarket in action (check it out below). They are going to be looking into the use of technology in the retail industry for their programme ‘Supermarket Secrets’ and naturally they gave us a call. So make sure to keep an eye out for us on Prime time TV this April! If that’s not a great start to the year, we don’t know what is!

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Merry X-Smash and a Happy New Year!

That’s it! Our last workweek of the year is just about done (although not our last shop – eek), and what a week it’s been. All we wanted for Christmas was a brilliant launch, but we’ve been treated to an early present in the form of some fantastic coverage too – the ultimate icing on top of an already rather delicious Christmas cake.

As you probably know, last week we decided to uncover how the nation manages to get Christmas dinner on the table by carrying out exclusive research among 2,000 Brits. Shopping and food are our bread and butter after all, so we felt we should know all there is to know about one of the biggest dinners of the year – arguments and all! Turns out we weren’t the only ones to be interested in the UK’s debauched Christmas day tradition; the papers especially seemed to love that fact that 12% of us are ‘out of it’ by the time dinner is served – and coverage just kept sprouting up all over the place! We even made it to the front page – take a look:

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Daily Star – Merry X-Smash! 6 million boozy Brits will hit the bottle early on Christmas Day

The Mirror – One in ten Brits admit they are drunk on Christmas Day before dinner is even served

Retail Thinking – Festive food shopping ‘most stressful’ trip of the year

This latest wave of national and trade coverage rounds off what has been a quite remarkable 2016 for Ubamarket. This time last year our app was still being built by the magical elves at DMI; since launching to market in the second half of the year we have already been featured in the press no fewer than 50 times. Viva the Retail Revolution!

We hope you have had an equally as fantastic year and that your Christmas dinner this year consists of more pigs in blankets than booze-soaked Barneys. Either way, it’s all part of the fun and we are ready to embrace it in all its glory – safely in the knowledge that we have done our bit when it comes to making things that little bit easier. Time to don our Christmas jumpers, relax, and gobble up as much turkey as possible before we get ready for next year – when we expect more of the same… only bigger and better, of course. Because 2017 will be the year we take over more supermarkets across the land to revolutionise the way we all shop for food.

Bring it on and see you then.

Merry X-Smash everyone!