Six Things That Annoy Every Supermarket Shopper

Supermarket shopping is a fundamental part of most people’s weekly routine. In fact, a study has shown that 44% of people in Britain go to the supermarket at least once a week. And it’s fair to say that there are a number of pet peeves that annoy a lot of supermarket goers on a regular basis. Here are six that we at Ubamarket think everyone will be able to relate to:

  1. The last-minute dash

We’ve all been there; you’re unloading your shopping basket and then suddenly remember you’ve forgotten the all important final ingredient for that night’s dinner. Do you lose your place in the queue and go back to wondering the aisles to try find it? Do you heck! You plonk your basket down and do your best Supermarket Sweep impression, frantically rushing to find the item and get back to the check-out before the cashier is done scanning all your items. Then, as calmly as possible (while sweating and wheezing) you place your items in your bag and stroll out.

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2. Hunting for the obscure

“Where on earth is the tahini? I can’t make baba ganoush without it!”

Ok, perhaps that’s a bit niche, but we can all relate to the frustration of traipsing up and down supermarket aisles looking for an obscure item on your shopping list – trying to hunt down rose water, almond butter or pickled ginger can be a real chore.

3. Unexpected item in bagging area

Is there? IS THERE?!

Nothing gets to us more than the whiny automated voice telling you that you don’t know how to use the self-scan checkout machine. And then comes the palaver of looking around everywhere for a supermarket assistant to come and confirm that there is, in fact, nothing unexpected in the bagging area.

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4. WHERE’S MY LOYALTY CARD?!

“Do you have loyalty card?”

“Yes.”

“Do you have it with you?”

*rummages madly through pockets and bag* … “No”

Enough said.

5. Forgetting your bag for life

And if constantly forgetting your loyalty card wasn’t bad enough, then we get to bags for life.

Go into homes up and down the country and you’ll find cupboards fit to burst with supermarket bags for life – we stockpile them like they’re going out of fashion. Unfortunately, unless you’re one of those annoyingly organised people, these resilient carriers are usually nowhere to be seen when you arrive at the supermarket checkout.

  1. The scrap over the reduced items

We all love a good bargain, don’t we? There’s no finer evidence of this than when you get to the ‘reduced to clear’ section of the supermarket – a magical place filled with items that are cast aside for either being superficially damaged (picture the four-pack of dented Diet Cokes wrapped together in brown tape), or fast-approaching their sell-by date. But when it comes to a busy supermarket, competition for these items can become fierce, with shoppers positioning themselves resolutely in front of the shelves with little-to-no regard for other people passing down the aisles. The struggle is real!

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Here at Ubamarket HQ, we’re supremely confident that we’ve created a solution that will vastly improve the in-store food shopping experience and do away with (most of) these supermarket grievances. Stay tuned!

Waste Not, Want Not: It’s Time for Food Shoppers to get Smart

Ubamarket

If there’s a golden rule to live your life by, it’s to never go food shopping when you’re hungry. You go in for a loaf of bread and some milk and you come out with three packets of biscuits, a spaghetti carbonara ready-meal, a caterpillar cake and 12 mini sausage rolls… nightmare!

However, the truth is that whether you’re ravenous, stuffed or ‘hangry’, everyone could do with being smarter shoppers, particularly when it comes to food waste. From buying items we already have, through to putting food in our baskets that we never consume, the majority of people in the UK are culpable of unnecessary purchases. For example, a study from Tesco back in 2013 revealed that a staggering 68% of bags of salad sold are never eaten. That’s a lot of rocket to be throwing in the bin! Meanwhile, government figures show that the average UK household spends £470 a year on food that goes untouched.

We’re not just guilty of wasting food however we’re also throwing away valuable loyalty points. Most people can relate to having been stood at the supermarket checkout, patting down their pockets or fumbling through bags, trying to find an elusive loyalty card for that store. And even when we do remember to bring the card with us, research shows that loyalty bonuses often sit unused. Data released last year shows that of the 19 million Nectar cards in use in the UK, members typically have over £22 worth of unused points on their account, while Tesco Clubcard users have almost £18.

Some food waste is unavoidable – we have the best intentions when we buy salad, we really do! We certainly wouldn’t want to do away with those cheeky impulse buys either during the supermarket shop, but it’s undoubtedly an area that consumers could look to improve on; as is making maximum use of loyalty cards. Becoming more efficient when we shop is a sure fire means of managing the amount of time and money we spend in supermarkets. But how do we achieve this? Stick with Ubamarket and we will soon show you!

How to Start a Business in 15 Steps  

This is a blog from Will Broome, Founder & CEO, Ubamarket Ltd.

OK, first off, the greatest, most magical, innovative, inventive, ground-breaking and revolutionary idea in the history of the world is still just an idea. It’s only the first 1% of what you need to start a successful business. Daunted? You’d better be! But, here’s the thing; do it anyway.

I’ve made a few mistakes; not as many as my impulsive personality might suggest, but one of them was HUGE and worthy of 100 little ones! It’s all relative. But as people often say, you learn a lot more from failure than success. So, with that all said, let’s get down to the thorny issue of how and why you should start a business?

Nike got it right with the brilliantly simple slogan: ‘just do it’. Beyond this there are a few, less important steps. I say this because I would bet that the large majority of business owners (and leaders) didn’t necessarily know exactly what they were getting themselves in to but they were so filled with determination, enthusiasm, energy, desire and belief that they just kept going and simply would not stop. As Winston Churchill once said: “If you’re going through hell, for God’s sake keep going!” And that’s probably the best possible advice anyone could ever give.

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So much of our lives are restricted by the desire to avoid risk. The fact is, if you want to be recognised as an entrepreneur, that’s exactly what you have to do; Risk. It. All. In life there are those who think they can and those who think they can’t. And both are usually right.  Take a look around you. Everything you see, everything you use, everything you enjoy – except for fresh air and an unspoilt landscape, maybe – have been invented, created and scaled by someone, somewhere at some time. So why not you? Seriously, why not!? If you genuinely believe you can achieve something great, give it a go starting today because you’ll either achieve it or you’ll be too busy to notice you haven’t. Either way, it’s an amazing thing to do! Do not be afraid to fail because failure is way better than regret…

Oh and another thing. Don’t over research something – I realise that sounds crazy and almost irresponsible but it’s a scientific fact. Even Albert Einstein endorses this point when he says that the greatest ideas often come from outside a sector. And that’s because those within any particular market sector can’t ‘un-see’ what they’ve already seen or ‘un-know’ what they already know. In short, they can’t necessarily see the wood for the trees. They’ll do things the way they’ve always done and they’ll get what they’ve always got.

The exciting, disruptive brands and products go big because they do things dramatically different and serve a purpose that needs serving, simplifying life in a way that people are ready for. As Henry Ford said: “If I’d have asked people what they wanted they would have said ‘faster horses’!” The big incumbent brands which have, until recently, dominated market sectors with unbreakable market share are now under threat because they’re like Supertankers, unable to turn on a sixpence or change direction for fear of cannibalising their own market and destroying themselves. That’s why it’s our duty to destroy them as little, nimble, under-the-radar start-ups (or up-starts as I’d prefer to be labelled!).

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So, there is the pep talk as to why starting a business is so worthwhile. Now here is a 15-step guide to starting your own business (IMHO):

  1. Have a great idea. That’s the first 1%. Just 99% to go!
  2. Be brave. No guts, no glory.
  3. Focus. And be forever determined.
  4. Work, work, work, work, work. Harder than Rihanna. You’ve got to love work. Absolutely love it – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no end in sight. Prepare yourself for at least ten years of hard graft. You have to really want it but you also have to really enjoy the chase. If it was that easy, everyone would do it, right? If you believe anyone who says you need to establish a ‘healthy’ work/life balance then this isn’t for you. You have to look forward to problems, because that’s exactly what you’re going to get. Lots and lots and lots of them!
  5. Do the paperwork. Register a Ltd company name and open a bank account. Now it’s getting real.
  6. Build a basic website. It’s the foundation and the go-to place for people to discover you and your product, but it won’t do anything on its own. Your website is only as good as the people you drive to it. As my mum always says: “You can only take out of the fridge what you’ve already put in it.” The same goes for social media. Set them all up and then work them. Hard.
  7. Devise a simple company structure. Speak to an accountant and maybe even a lawyer but avoid big fees at this stage! Drive hard bargains through sheer enthusiasm and belief. It’s infectious.
  8. Register a trademark. This will cost about £500 through a specialist attorney. You may also need to file a Patent if your idea is factually ‘unique’ and ‘inventive’ (about £10,000 as a starting point). Chelsea FC own the trademark ‘Jose Mourinho’ – D’oh!
  9. Plot a basic route to market. How are you going to promote and scale your great idea? Talk to a PR agency and tell them about it. If they get it, they can really help you articulate your product or service. It’s all about your story so you need to tell it. Really well.
  10. Get people enthused. The people around you need to be excited – professionals and creatives. Maybe even potential partners in the sector you’re about to disrupt. The more allies you have on the inside, the better, as these will tend to be the most forward-thinking and dynamic brands. This is important because you can’t do it all by yourself.
  11. Get some money. Although, if you can somehow grow things organically, then that’s the best route. The starting point, however big and expensive your idea may be, is your FFF contingency. That’s friends, fools and family. Even crowdfunding platforms require that 25% of your raise is already handled as proof of viability. Like having a deposit before you borrow the rest of the money for your house. Don’t wait for a windfall. Hustle.
  12. Accept that it’s now all about sales. You are a salesman and, what’s more, you are the best salesman because you created whatever it is that you’re selling.
  13. Be aggressive. (In a good way) and don’t be shy. Ever. You need to become a publicity hungry monster that needs feeding. Hunger is insatiable and you have the biggest appetite in the history of binge-eating grotesquely obese people! So stay ‘Hangry’!
  14. Grab every opportunity. Any opportunity that comes your way, you have to grab it and stand by your convictions. It’s you against the world and that’s just the way you like it! Relish that predicament…
  15. And finally. Never, ever forget, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. Congratulations, it’s YOU!  Now do it!

Will Broome, Founder & CEO, Ubamarket Ltd.

Retail Apps Not Getting Shoppers Reaching for their Pockets

In July 2008, Apple unveiled the App Store, followed a year later by the creation of Google’s Android Market (now Google Play Store) and RIM’s BlackBerry App World. In the seven years since the launch of these mobile markets, apps have truly taken off to become a key part of everyday life. From slingshotting disgruntled avian creatures, through to banking on the go, apps perform a range of functions for the modern consumer, both inane and invaluable.

There’s virtually no industry that has not been disrupted by the introduction of mobile apps. Retail is no exception; fashion brands and high street stores alike have embraced mobile channels to better serve their shoppers. However, there is clearly still work to be done – a study in December 2015 of 1,000 smartphone users in the UK by app developer Apadmi found that a whopping 71% want more from the retail app market.

Poor functionality was the biggest bugbear among shoppers, with 56% finding this flaw in retail apps. Other notable pet peeves include apps not being catered to the shopper’s needs (44%); complicated or non-existent payment methods (43%); the need for more offers or a loyalty scheme (34%); or that the apps are too slow (21%). The message is simple: up your app game, retailers!

The survey also uncovered that a substandard app could prove worse than not having one at all – 26% of consumers would think less of a retailer if its mobile app was poorly designed and stated they would actually go shopping elsewhere.

With 97% of shoppers saying they take their smartphone with them as they peruse the stores and 85% of smartphone users in the UK using retail apps, there is massive scope for apps to enhance the shopping experience. However, as this research highlights, retailers themselves (by-and-large) are yet to fully realise the app’s true potential and deliver mobile solutions that win over the consumer… but we are confident this will all change very soon!