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Brief Published: 29 Oct 2012

Sainsbury’s Trials ‘Scan & Go’ Mobile App


British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is aiming to streamline the in-store journey with a new smartphone application, currently being trialled in three of its UK stores.

After downloading the Scan & Go app, shoppers scan a QR (quick response) code with their phone to ‘check in’ on arrival at the store, and then proceed to scan goods with their phone as they take them off the shelves. The app displays a running total as they shop, so the customer can keep track of their spend. They can even use the app to pay at a self-service checkout.

It’s not the first time supermarkets have tried to introduce m-commerce in-store. In 2011, British supermarkets Waitrose and Tesco introduced similar quick-check services in selected locations that use handheld scanners rather than mobile phones to log items.

But Sainsbury’s is staking that the market has moved on. Indeed, earlier this year, UK research firm Simpson Carpenter found that 71% of British smartphone owners are now using mobiles on shopping trips, while American customer experience specialist WD Partners discovered 73% of US shoppers are now engaging with mobile shopping in-store (for more, see our International Retail Design Conference 2012 coverage).

As well as the convenience it offers consumers, the app also gives Sainsbury’s an opportunity to create more effective one-to-one conversations with consumers (and their data) to create more highly tailored offers in future. Sainsbury’s is offering the service to a limited number of its loyalty-card holders over the next few months, with the nationwide launch dependent on feedback.