Home Your IT Mobility Woolies on a winner with iPhone app

Woolworths' iPhone app shot straight to the top of the free apps chart at the App Store on the day of its release. "It's great seeing a big demand for this technology" said the executive responsible for the app.


For many of us, grocery shopping is a chore. One of the best ways of speeding it up is to list the things you need in the order that you traverse the store. The trouble is that supermarkets have a habit of moving things around - that might be a ploy to make us pass more shelves as we hunt for items, or it might be a side-effect of the way retailers charge suppliers for shelf space affects the space dedicated to particular categories.

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One of the most attractive features of Woolworths new iPhone app is that it lets you enter a shopping list which it then presents in the aisle order of a specified store. This saves time and effort, especially when visiting an unfamiliar supermarket.

Has Fakira, innovation program manager at Woolworths Supermarkets, told iTWire that store layout changes are automatically reflected in the shopping list, and advance warnings are delivered when renovations are planned. Customers want to get in, pick up the items they want, and get out as quickly as possible, he explained.

The shopping list is at the core of the app, and it can be populated from the 800 included recipes, the week's catalogue specials, or targeted offers from the Everyday Rewards program.

Mr Fakira said a deliberate decision was made to present only the catalogue specials rather than a complete list of the week's specials, but there was still some debate about the amount of information customers can cope with. "We're going to listen to all the feedback," he said, whether that involves changes or new features.

"Overwhelming" response - see page 2.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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