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Next-gen shopping app introduces aisle sat-nav, facial age-verification, checkout-less grocery to the high street

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While M&S is rolling out mobile pay and go technology at 40 more stores, it has a long way to go to keep up with some of the other players in the market – with the likes of Co-op, SPAR, Londis, and Warner’s Budgens all partnering with the UK’s most sophisticated retail innovation to overhaul shopping experience for customers.

Mobile tech pioneers Ubamarket – which works with the retailers already on check-free store apps – has launched a one-of-a-kind app to bring customers back in-store and boost trade for Britain’s grocers and retailers.

Ubamarket is the only tech of its kind to increase purchases and secure more footfall for high street retailers. This is a much-needed solution amidst the decline of the UK retail industry following the rise of e-commerce, which has seen large quantities of customers move to online shopping for every day consumer products and groceries.  

The previous iteration of the app, already in use in several SPAR, Londis and Warner’s Budgens stores across the UK and Ireland, has seen a 92% adoption and re-use rate amongst customers, and has showcased an average increase of purchases in-store by 21% across the board. The next generation app is also set to be adopted by several Co-Op stores, following the dramatic success of Ubamarket in other retailers. 

The Ubamarket app features a range of AI-backed features, which dramatically enhances the shopping experience and ushers in a new age of physical retail. The demo app is now available to experience on the AppStore and Google PlayStore.

The new app offers the much-vaunted “’supermarket sat-nav’, where the app guides customers around the store to products they have saved on their personal shopping list, cutting shopping time and reducing spend. It also features the ability for customers to scan products/shelves as they shop and then check-out and pay in app, completely bypassing queues.


Facial recognition is also built into the app, so that it can now approve the customer for products that would typically require an age check with no need for assistance by store managers or cashiers (subject to the customer having uploaed a valid form of ID).

Additionally, loyalty points can be added automatically to the app and   access to deals and offers reserved for app users, while customers can also receive dietary and allergen alerts for every product and can shop according to dietary or allergen requirements.

With sustainability in mind, the app provides information on which packaging can and can’t be recycled in a customer’s shop, and will summarise the environmental footprint of the overall shop at checkout with the Plastic Alerts feature. 

According to Ubamarket’s latest research shoppers are begging for this kind of functionality. It found that 52% of people in the UK – almost 24 million people – are happy for retailers to collect consumer data if they can benefit from money-saving opportunities. It also says that  24% of people in the UK – 10 million people – say food retail is the only sector in which they appreciate personalised offers. A further 23% of shoppers (more than 9 million shoppers) have lost up to hundreds of pounds worth of savings and offers through lack of information or the inconvenience of loyalty cards.

CEO of Ubamarket, Will Broome, comments on the launch of the app and discusses how technology can encourage consumers back into physical stores: “2019 was an unbelievably tough year for the retail industry, but I think the pessimistic view taken by many that the high street is dying is simply not true. In my view, it all comes back to the experience. If the physical store does not offer an attractive experience and compelling money-saving opportunities, the customer can fall back on e-commerce.”

He continue: “Ubamarket’s mobile technology helps retailers to offer customers an incredible experience when they come to shop at their stores. Not only does our technology revitalise and revolutionise the process of shopping in-store for customers, but it also provides retailers with a much-needed method to get back on track and ensure they can thrive in the midst of a tough climate for the industry. “

Broome concludes: “What’s more, our research clearly shows that a huge portion of consumers are receptive to mobile technology already, and these numbers are only set to grow as technology permeates our society further. Technology gives shoppers a reason to get up off the couch and feel excited to shop in-person again, and at Ubamarket, we are committed to providing this technology to help traditional retailers not only survive, but thrive.”

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