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SuperValu speeds up grocery shopping via mobile app

The SuperValu app initiative is part of a broader strategy to push the company further into the digital space. With the SuperValu deal, each grocery chain under the company’s banner now has apps for iPhone and Android devices.

SuperValu claims to bring in sales of $37 billion every year, and operates nine grocery chains in the United States.

“Our efforts are designed as a tool set to help consumers plan their trip, shop our stores conveniently and find both information and inspiration to prepare healthy meals at home,” said Kat Kozitza, director of digital and social media at Supervalu, Eden Prairie, MN.

“This tool set is integrated across devices and platforms so any family member can update the shopping list from any location and the changes are made in real time,” she said.

Mobile shopping
SuperValu began testing the mobile app with Cub Foods stores in November 2011 and equipped all SuperValu grocery chains with apps in February. The mobile apps cover SuperValu’s 1,100 retail stores.

One of the main features of the app is that it aggregates weekly ads for shoppers in one place. To find local deals, consumers can type in their ZIP code or use their device’s GPS to store nearby locations to the app.

Consumers can also create lists to help manage their in-store shopping experience. The app alerts users to when coupons expire and consumers can check off items as they shop.

SuperValu’s mobile apps also help the grocery stores bolster their email marketing initiatives. Users can sign up to receive email alerts from their grocery chain inside the app.

Consumers can also call and access a store’s directions and hours via the app.

Mobile chain
An initiative as large as this from SuperValu shows that the company takes mobile seriously, and it is seeing a large demand from consumers to offer mobile programs.

By rolling out chain-specific apps, it gives shoppers who have a strong loyalty to their local grocery store a way to interact with the company regularly.

The mobile deals section in particular gives consumers a reason to use the app on a regular basis by eliminating paper coupons.

SuperValu’s core consumer is most likely looking for quick and easy access to help cut down their grocery shopping time, and an app is a great mobile initiative to help.

SuperValu is not the only grocery chain that is pushing mobile apps to shoppers.

Most recently, grocery chain Hy-Vee rolled out a commerce-enabled app that let consumers place orders (see story).

“We view mobile as a tool to save time, not waste time,” Ms. Kozitza said.

“We design our capabilities so consumers can leverage the tool to save time and money on their shopping trip rather than as an entertainment device and that guides most of our strategy in the space,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York