Keeping Up with the Times: Why Food Shopping Needs to Change

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

Earlier this year Andy Street, CEO of the John Lewis Partnership (which owns high-end supermarket Waitrose), said on BBC Breakfast: “Our customers like our online experience, but they also like our in-store experience.” The secret, of course, is to find the perfect balance between the two. As he goes on to say, “John Lewis’s online sales are strongest in places where we’ve got shops” – this is because people want the hybrid experience.

The rise of online shopping was supposedly going to be the death knell for retail stores – but despite the apparent convenience of online shopping, we (nearly) all still love to go to the shops. This is particularly the case with groceries, whether that’s for the big weekly shop or multiple convenience trips. In fact, Ubamarket will soon be launching an amazingly insightful new report which shows that people’s main gripe with online food shopping is that they cannot choose their own items; people evidently still want to see and feel the produce they are buying.

However, given people’s desire to enter the supermarket has not been lessened by the rise of online shopping, it is extraordinary that the supermarket experience, all over the world, is still almost as it was decades ago. What’s more, give or take, supermarkets are almost all universally identical from store to store – busy, confusing, time consuming and laborious. Unlike other areas of the retail world, food retailers are simply not offering exciting, innovative new ways of enhancing the shopping experience. But there is huge potential too!

Next time you’re in the supermarket have a look around. Everyone will be staring at either a scrap of paper or, increasingly frequently, their mobile phone. In fact, Apple stats tell us that 82% of iPhone users have used their phone notepad as a shopping list!

Self-checkout is another good example of where innovation is needed – it’s annoying and unreliable for the shopper, and it’s expensive for the store. Most people avoid it except when presented with the longest of queues; and even then the queues at some self-checkouts are even worse than the main checkout. It’s like a theme park with no ride at the end of it! Checkout positions and conveyor belts are an unbelievable waste of retail space and real-estate as well. In central London stores that’s tens, even hundreds of thousands of pounds of wasted opportunity.

So, we’ve established that we actually quite like going to the supermarket, that a great many people use shopping list and that queues remain a huge bugbear for both the consumer and the retailer. Throw in difficulties in finding items in store and that nagging issue of people always forgetting their loyalty cards, and what we’re left with is a disjointed picture where the supermarket experience is letting customers down – or, in other words, food shopping needs to change!

Enter Ubamarket™, the app which will make your shopping list ‘magic’ and enable you to shop smarter without even having to think about it. How it works is simple: you create your shopping list in the app, this will then instantly sort itself into the order your listed items are displayed in the store so you’ll be able to find absolutely everything, and quickly. You then scan as you shop, totting up the price as you go, and finally, you won’t even have to queue because you will have scanned everything whilst shopping so there’s no need to wait in line at the checkout to pointlessly re-scan all the items! On top of all that, you’ll benefit from Automatic Loyalty™; you’ll never have to remember your loyalty card ever again and you’ll always get the best possible value for every shop.

Four years in the making, Ubamarket™ was conceived by a direct need to solve a series of universal problems, seamlessly. It makes everyday life less complicated. You can find out more at , or better yet download it from the App Store and try it out in our prototype store, Warner’s Budgens, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AF right now!

warners budgensSo, if you fancy a trip to the glorious Cotswolds and want to witness the retail revolution that is Ubamarket™ first hand, we’ll see you here!


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

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