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The Brief
Published: 9 Apr 2018

Mobile Checkout Latest: Ubamarket

Extra
Ubamarket

Ubamarket, a UK retail tech start-up looking to improve the performance of mobile checkout technology, is poised for rapid growth.

Its app has been rolled out to all six branches of supermarket brand Warner’s Budgens in England after 18 months of testing in one store. Next up is Londis, the convenience store franchise group, with the potential for rollout to almost 1,000 stores.

Items on a customer’s in-app shopping list are automatically rearranged for convenient pick-up, depending on where the customer is in the store. The app provides shoppers with total spend updates as well as notifications of special offers. Customers scan each item with their phone, with tap payment at check-out concluding the purchase.

Chief executive Will Broome, speaking to Stylus, emphasised the investment in scanning technology: “There are so many barcode variations, and we’ve made sure they all scan. Barcodes change regularly, so the important point is that Ubamarket has a dynamic knowledge of scan cards.”

Potential future innovations include age-restriction warnings for alcoholic drinks or allergy warnings for peanuts, plus shopping-list voice recognition.

Broome said the ease of installing the app and the fact that it offers “a complete end-to-end solution” are proving a major attraction to retailers. The company partners with payment solutions supplier HTEC.

Scan-as-you-shop momentum is growing worldwide. In America, department store retailer Macy’s is testing mobile checkout and plans to roll it out to 450 of 650 stores.

Macy’s chief executive Jeff Gennette said at a New York conference in March: “If you want to talk about the single biggest pain point in our stores right now, it’s the checkout process. It’s finding the register. Is there going to be somebody there? Is there a long line of customers and how long is it going to take me to get out?”

See also Mobile First Supermarket.

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