Together with Sweden’s leading grocery retailer ICA we created an app important enough to be on most homescreens. We worked with ICA over several years, with both big and small feature releases. In this case study we will highlight three functions that we are extra proud of and that had a huge impact on ICA's business.
The supermarket industry is a saturated market, where customer loyalty is hard to acquire, and even harder to maintain. This makes it crucial for ICA to engage with and offer value to their customers in every channel. We were approached with an interesting brief - to create an app that would simplify the everyday tasks of shopping and cooking.
We were approached with an interesting brief - to create an app that would simplify the everyday tasks of shopping and cooking.
ICA already had a well-established loyalty card system, that we decided could be the perfect tool for a new system of digital coupons. Instead of requiring users to show their phones at checkout, we could build an app that load offers directly onto the card via the app - getting their discounts automatically when they swipe their card at checkout.
Synced shopping lists
While a shopping list feature was a given in the app from the start, the challenge lay in making it a feature that leveraged ICAs existing systems to create greater value for their customers than any other existing shopping list app could. The core of the app is therefore a recipe database, where you can get tips on what to cook for dinner. If you can’t decide, just shake your phone to get a randomized recipe. When you find the perfect recipe for the day, automatically add it the ingredients to your shopping list.
You can share your shopping list with your family, and it syncs directly across all devices.
You can share your shopping list with your family, and it syncs directly across all devices. Through the ICA loyalty card, we could see which stores users visit frequently, and serve them relevant local offers to add directly to their shopping list. The shopping list is then organised automatically after how the groceries in that store is laid out - making it easier for users to find the products on their shopping list as they walk through the store.
ICA launched their self-scanning service 10 years ago and it has been hugely successful ever since. This service allows customers to scan goods and place them directly in their shopping bags as they go through the store - making checkout as easy as going to a self-service machine and paying. Not only does it save time for the customers but it also frees up the staff to offer better service in the store. However, the existing system is based on bulky handheld scanners that have to be installed in the store in order for the service to be available.
So why not use what the customers are already bringing to the store - their phones? We made it possible to scan products directly from your phone - a feature that works seamlessly with the recipes and shopping lists. Customers can also scan products in their homes to add that product to their shopping list - for instance when you run out of milk, just scan the carton to quickly alert your spouse whose out grocery shopping to add it in their cart.
Air cooking on the iPad
While recipes were a big part of the phone app for e.g. using a recipe to populate a shopping list, we found that many users preferred to follow recipes on their tablet. On the iPad version of the app, we could show the ingredient list and instruction steps in the same view. The ingredient list also automatically scrolls to the right point as you advance through the instructions.
Interacting with a touchscreen while getting hands-on with your cooking is seldom a pleasant experience.
But as you may already know, interacting with a touchscreen while getting hands-on with your cooking is seldom a pleasant experience. That’s why we created “handsfree mode” - where the camera tracks your gestures, allowing you to navigate through your recipe without having to touch the screen at all. No more sticky iPads!
The ICA Handla app is the result of close collaboration with APE and the ICA marketing and IT departments, that replaced their traditional plastic loyalty card, and added a number of functions to make grocery shopping easier.
We designed our product to be a natural part of the whole user journey, starting way before being in the actual store while deciding what to cook for dinner, all the way home to your kitchen.
The ICA app contains all the groceries in their stores, which we mapped with their huge recipe database, so that users can create automatic shopping lists based on what they are cooking. These lists are then ordered based on the layout of your favourite store, making it a smarter, easier and more relevant product for the end user. The mobile app also handles OCR scanning both in the store while doing your shopping and home when putting products on your list.