By Danielle Haynes
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — The only thing it doesn’t do is gather and deliver your groceries for you.
Earlier this month, Wegmans announced the update of its free smartphone application, and while the program has been available for a couple years now, the grocery chain is hoping tweaks will draw new users and downloads.
The free app — available for iPhone and iPad devices through iTunes and now Android devices through Google Play — allows customers to customize their shopping trip, from making a grocery list down to knowing just which aisle to find that obscure ingredient you need for dinner.
“I think the benefit (of the app) is the ease for customers to anytime, anywhere manage another aspect of their lives,” said Theresa Jackson, consumer affairs manager. “So when people are crunched for time and (can’t) connect with us in traditional ways, they can do it straight from their device and trust that we are taking care of business on the other end.”
Jackson said the biggest changes to the app is an increase in speed, better usability and the fact that it’s now available for Android users.
“Ever since we released the first version of our app a couple of years ago, we’ve been listening to customer feedback and making improvements based on what we hear,” said Jason Wehle, director of internet marketing for Wegmans. “One of the most common requests we received was for compatibility with Android devices. We’re excited that this new version delivers on that request, and it will soon work with Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook too.
“Those who have already been using our iPhone app told us they wished their experience could be more personalized. With that in mind, we included past purchases to this new version of the app. We’ve added other features too, from more nutrition information to estimating what it will cost to buy the items on your list.”
Using your shopper’s club card number, users can log into the Wegman’s app to access personalized shopping lists, recipes — from which one can add ingredients to a shopping list — and even prices. Load your favorite Wegman’s location into the phone and it will estimate the cost of your shopping trip based on your grocery list.
It’ll even reorganize your list according to aisle and location in a given store. Deciding to shop at the Sheridan Drive Wegmans instead of the location closer to home? Just change the location and the price will adjust and shopping list will rearrange.
“Sometimes you’re not always shopping at the same Wegmans,” Jackson said. “Things may be in different places than you’re used to.”
Want to start a new shopping list, but can’t remember the brand of bread you got last week? Check out your shopping history and automatically add previous purchases to your new list.
Another change to the app is the added ability to use the app at the checkout in case customers leave their shopper’s club card at home. The clerk can scan the barcode on the phone screen instead.
The grocery store is now also competing with major drug stores with app features — customers can refill their prescriptions
“It’s important for grocery stores to evolve along with technology,” Jackson said. “The needs of our customers are changing and we’ll always sell food, but we need to sell them in the way our customers are looking for. It’s our duty to make that experience work for them using the technological tools we have.”
Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116.