Supermarket shopping on the go

ocadoonthego One of the things I consistently say about the iPhone is that it’s all about the apps.

For the sheer scope and scale of useful little programs for your iPhone or iPod Touch – known simply as ‘apps’ –  this platform just can’t be beaten.

At the last count, there were over 50,000 apps you can find in Apple’s App Store, many available completely free.

Think of something that interests you and the chances are good there’s an app for it.

Here’s a new one that is right up there on my list of apps that many people will simply find useful – the ability to do your grocery shopping from your iPhone or iPod Touch, wherever and whenever you happen to be.

This app comes from Ocado, the UK online grocery company that was launched in partnership with Waitrose in January 2002.

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The company says it offers 18,000 product lines including Waitrose (and John Lewis-branded) goods for home or office delivery to locations across much of England, from the northwest to the south coast.

Home shopping for groceries is a growing business area in the UK, with researcher IGD predicting that the overall market will be worth £5 billion in 2012.

From a user point of view, an app like Ocado’s is extremely convenient. None of the other major supermarkets in the UK – the leaders being Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda and Morrisons – offers a similar app (although Waitrose does with Ocado’s).

Of course, everyone offers home grocery shopping these days from a computer but only Ocado gives you the means to do it seamlessly on the go with an iPhone.

According to the press release I have (it’s not yet on Ocado’s media website; I have a copy from their PR agency Frank PR), this app for iPhone and iPod Touch is a first step.

Quoting Jason Gissing, co-founder of Ocado:

[…] this is the first step of a journey that will eventually see Ocado available on several digital platforms.

Good news for mobile customers. iPhone users are already a jump ahead.

The app officially launches on July 13 but is available in the App Store now; search for ‘ocado’ and you’ll find it.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. jon burg

    This is a reskinning of another format – the web. And I thin you nailed that.

    What would be truly innovative would be an on-demand on-the-run shopping tool that prepared your basket for you with all of your groceries so you could pull up and run. Or a tool that allowed to you do your own checkout from your iPhone as you shopped, you present your phone to the cashier, they scan it and your cart, and you’re off. This could present a new class of local commerce!

    This is only the beginning. Apps as gimmicks that should be webpages do not have a long term future as the market continues to saturate. Apps that build new needed utility, that rethink commerce as a whole, that integrate with other Apps and solutions to enable new experiences, those will present the true paradigm shift that the platform is capable of.

  2. Danny Whatmough

    Jon – in my mind, there is nothing wrong per se with simply reskinning the web. The reason iPhone apps are so great is that the usability is vastly improved. Sure, you could do this through a mobile web browser but you would lack the functionality you get through iPhone apps. I agree that this is not necessarily a sustainable route in the longer term, but for now I think these UI improvements are innovative in themselves.

  3. enfield101

    In my opinion its great because the iPhone applications are great so the uses of this are improved in future ,another point is that good news for mobile customers. iPhone users are already a jump its a longterm business no doubt,Thank you very much for sharing these informations.

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