Woolworths revamps online service by upgrading supermarket app

The retailer recorded a 63 per cent growth in online sales for FY11

Australian retailer Woolworths has flagged plans to revamp its online presence following a 63 per cent growth in online sales for the 2011 financial year.

Woolworths director of multi-channel, Penny Winn, said the company planned to focus heavily on strengthening its online platforms.

The company has begun rolling out a new online platform which uses Everyday Rewards data from in-store and online purchases to create “favourites” lists and to suggest products of purchased regularly by customers.

Woolworths chief executive, Grant O’Brien, said having multi-channel services would provide more opportunities around customer convenience as well as more increased options.

“We are really seeing a revolution in retail as customers integrate mobile, social networking and other internet-enabled technologies into their bricks and mortar shopping experience,” O’Brien said in a statement.

“It isn’t a question of online or offline; it’s about creating integrating the two seamlessly and we are increasingly finding that our most valuable customers are ones who do both.”

According to O’Brien, Woolworths customers who shop both in-store and online spend 70 per cent more than customers who shop solely in-store.

The retailer also detailed plans to update its supermarket mobile phone app, which has had 1.1 million downloads since it launched in August 2011 on the iPhone, to enable customers to shop for groceries via their handset.

In September, Woolworths launched the app for Android. In the space of a month the iPhone app was downloaded some 670,000 times.

The app enables users to find their nearest store via GPS and access Everyday Rewards offers and fuel savings vouchers.

Users can also create, edit, save and share shopping lists; search for products by name or category; scan a barcode in-store; and add it to a shopping list.

Woolworths subsidiary Big W has also announced the launch of an app for customers with which they can both shop and compare competitor prices.

Earlier this year, Woolworths committed to the roll out of Visa’s contactless payment technology, payWave, across all stores.

The payment capability enabled customers with a payWave-enabled credit or debit cards to make contactless payments of up to $100 at any of Woolworths’ brands, which include Dicksmith Electronics and forthcoming Bunnings competitor Masters, once the technology is fully rolled out.

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