Longo’s goes mobile

The retailer's digital Grocery Gateway delivery service unveils Canada's first food delivery app.
UNATA - Longo's and Unata Launch Grocery Gateway Mobile

Longo’s digital delivery service Grocery Gateway has unveiled what it calls Canada’s first smartphone app that allows users to order groceries on the go. While other grocers have smartphone apps that suggest recipes based on in-store products, like Sobeys’ Moodie Foodie, the Grocery Gateway app will be the first that integrates with a customer loyalty program.

“Our point of differentiation is that we take a look at past purchase histories in order to personalize the shopping experience for customers,” says Chris Bryson, CEO of Unata, the digital agency responsible for developing the app.

Longo’s will market the new Grocery Gateway app through its loyalty program membership email list, as well as in OOH messaging such as transit posters around the greater Toronto area. Unata plans to release a Longo’s branded app in the coming months that targets customers with offers at individual stores and otherwise “enhances the in-store experience,” according to Bryson.

The number of grocers in the U.S. with some kind of mobile presence rose 110% in the first half of 2012, according to industry website MyWebGrocer. A handful of U.S. chains, such as Lowe’s Foods and Giant Eagle, have recently partnered with Coupon.com to allow customers to tie special offers with their loyalty programs. Shoppers receive the discount on the groceries when they swipe their card at the store.

Users can connect the Grocery Gateway app to their Longo’s loyalty program info and receive increasingly targeted product recommendations as they build out their purchase history. “We don’t want to spam users or send them pop-ups every time they go to a store,” says Bryson. “A lot of marketers think that’s the panacea but from a customer experience standpoint that’s probably the fastest way to alienate your shopper.”

This article has been updated after it was originally published to change information in the last paragraph related to how users sign into the Grocery Gateway app.