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Albertsons last week launched a new mobile app, available as a free download for Apple and Android devices, that features meal-planning capabilities and embedded social media accessible via a quick, intuitive interface. The mobile app, developed by Winooski, Vt.-based MyWebGrocer, has the ease of use, sleek design and “coolness” factor not typically found among grocery apps.
“An engaging mobile experience is a requirement of continuing the customer conversation both in and away from our stores,” Karl Meinhardt, VP of mobile and social for Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, told Progressive Grocer. “Our new app is a key component of building a more relevant conversation with our customers.”
According to Meinhardt, the new app connects the “icon” of grocery retail advertising -- the weekly circular -- with the ease of the mobile experience, enabling Albertsons to leverage the work of its division advertising teams and deliver the circular to customers' mobile devices exactly how they're used to seeing it in print, while taking advantage of the functionality of the mobile medium.
Once a shopper registers and selects a “home” store, the digital circular is shown on the main screen. Clicking on the first page of the ad expands it to full size, and users can then “thumb-slide” to navigate through the pages. Clicking on a page reduces its size so that a scrollable list of the page’s featured products are displayed in alphabetical order below the page image. Users can stil thumb-slide through the smaller page images in this view, either to the left or right, and the items below the page will refresh to represent the current page.
To add items to the shopping list, users click the “Add to List” button.
Clicking the navigation button at the top left enables users to view all of the available app functionality in the left navigation pane, including social media platforms Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram –- each of which opens within the app itself -- a store locator section; reviews; and a recipe section.
In the recipe section, several featured recipes are displayed as images that rotate position on the main screen of the app. Below this are various categories of recipes, such as Appetizers, Barbecue, Breads, Breakfast, Holidays and Desserts, each of which can be drilled down to specific recipes and their landing pages.
On the recipe landing pages, each of the ingredients necessary for the recipe are listed with an “Add to List” button next to them, and there's also a button just under the recipe images that allows the user to add all of the ingredients to a shopping list with just a touch of the finger.
The shopping list can be accessed by clicking the menu button on the upper right, and can be edited to add or delete items.
The app is part of Albertsons’ goal of engaging its shoppers however they want, whenever they want and using whatever type of media they want. “With the accelerating advent of mobile devices comes the opportunity of brand ubiquity,” said Meinhardt, “being present and relevant when and where our customers connect.”