8 Thoughts on why I don't use my Countdown Shopping App

, posted: 26-Jun-2013 15:45

Countdown showed some real grocery leadership in New Zealand when they created their mobile application (which is actually not easy to find on their web site). I thought it was great, but now I don't use it, or my Onecard. Here's why. 
  1. OnecardJust to get Onecard out of the way. I have cards for Africa. I made a decision last year to only carry the essentials that I need. My Onecard, my Subway card I now have the iPhone version), my frequent flyer cards and all of the coffee cards, BP car wash cards etc now sit in a drawer and are no longer weighing down my wallet. In fact I don't even carry a wallet any more because I don't carry cash.
  2. I want my phone to be my Onecard. I want it to recognise me when I come into the store. I spend plenty of money there, but my Onecard points are zero. I always have my mobile with me.
  3. I want gamification, the app is really good in what it does do, but its not fun. Give me points every time I take something out of the fridge, and scan it into the shopping list.
  4. I want to be greeted by the app when I come into the store. Check me in and give me points every time I go there.
  5. I want it to be my concierge, my personal shopping companion, a virtual shopping assistant. I want it to make recommendations based on previous purchases or perhaps even on what I'm buying now.
  6. I want self scanning from my mobile as I go through the store. I want the app to tell me how much I'm spending, counter the negative of that by how much I am saving on RRP and that if I spend $15 more this shop I will get a 20 cents per litre petrol voucher.
  7. I want to synchronise my shopping list with the rest of the family automatically. Maybe I could hit a button that notifies my wife (or vice versa) that I am shopping and does she want to add anything.
  8. Give me extra points or even badges for buying healthy foods.

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Comment by BlueShift, on 26-Jun-2013 16:01

2 Reasons I Don't Use the Countdown App

1) I have a Windows Phone, therefore no app.

2) Even though Countdown is a 3 minute drive from my house, I drive 10 minutes to Pak N Save for my major shopping. This saves my family of 5-and-a-dog close to $100 a fortnite.

But your suggested app features are definitely things their developers should be looking into!

Comment by mattwnz, on 26-Jun-2013 16:03

They need to have free wifi in their store, so people aren't using 3g, and people with ipod touches or ipads without 3G can use it too.

Comment by dacraka, on 26-Jun-2013 22:10

Very good points made there!

Comment by Nick, on 26-Jun-2013 22:18

Gamify shopping? please no

You should checkout (pun intended) Pak'n'save's Shop'n'go: based around a handheld computer to scan items as you shop, producing a running total as you go

Comment by Dratsab, on 27-Jun-2013 10:49

Nice post. I'm pretty much the same and have ditched all the cards I used to carry. My phone case is a card wallet of sorts to but naturally has limited room so my debit cards and drivers licence are all that are in there.

The only disagreement I'd have with your suggestions would be point 4 as the automatic greeting would imply a background process for the app running continually on the phone. I would rather have to activate the app myself. I wouldn't see this as an overhead on my time as to be able to do such things as you mention in points 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 I'd have to be having some sort of interaction with the phone any way.

But, like BlueShift, Countdown (1 minute drive from my house on a bad day) gets bypassed for Pak'n'Save (12 minute drive) because the savings are well more than worth it. That said I will go there for small amounts of things as it's convenient on the way home or late on dark and stormy nights :-)

Comment by gnfb, on 27-Jun-2013 12:15

I love Countdown! No i really mean I love it! I agree with all your thoughts and ideas as great improvements to a system that is already streets ahead of anything else here. I value my time and wasting an hour plus the cost of getting there etc say I'm generous I estimate it cost me over a hundred dollars to go shopping plus all the additional add ons i buy under impulse

Comment by Bung, on 27-Jun-2013 19:16

Any chain may not always be the cheapest.

"Wellington supermarket wars have seen Pak 'n Save lose its crown for the cheapest groceries in Kilbirnie to Countdown." - Stuff  6/6/2013

The stores are opposite each other so you can cherry pick specials if you can be bothered.

Comment by dickytim, on 28-Jun-2013 07:08

I use the countdown app all the time when I am in Pak n save, for the larger items I scan them and work out if I am better to detour on the way home and get the items from Count Down, but I generally don't shop there as it is way over priced compared to PNS.

I do agree that it would be nice to be able to scan the items into the trolley to speed up check out processing, and free Wi-Fi would be a great way to add the features that the blog suggested about welcoming you in store etc.

Comment by richms, on 29-Jun-2013 15:11

I use the app all the time when I am shopping in new world to see if things are cheaper at countdown. Most things are own brand tho so I cant just scan them, I have to search which is a pain in the..... If I could scan the budget toilet paper and have the app suggest home brand and what its price it, that would be good, but last I tried it just didn't acknowledge any goods that countdown dont sell.

Comment by LWJCarroll, on 3-Jul-2013 12:51

Hi all....we dont use the cell phone we have now...too expensive and now only for emergencies etc...

The Countdown app still doesnt (the last time I checked) on my ASUS TF300T Android tablet.....so we dont use the app at all....

We shop all the time at Countdown and use the One card as well to get the $15.00 credit every few months....

I wish we could use the app as the Countdown store at the super centre in Pukekohe has rearranged some of the isles and we dont know where some things are now...the app would have shown us where the Raro drinks sachets are now...had to ask at the info desk...

It would be great !!!!...to have WiFi available to be connected to the store/app/Countdown while we shopped there...and of course generate a shopping list plus running total during the shop...those impulse buys cost $$.

BTW we did try Packn save but there didnt appear to be any savings and we dont like the way they have goods on pallets etc so high above you..it doesnt feel safe to use...Rgds....Laurie

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Luigi Cappel
New Zealand

Helping people getting their message to potential customers with blogs and social media.
Futurist and start up founder.
Passionate consultant about all things to do with Social, Location, Augmented Reality and Mobile.
Member of Auckland ICT Cluster
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Past Vice President NZ Sales & Marketing Institute.