An app for finding the cheapest groceries?


Buying groceries at a supermarket is probably one of the things that is done at least once a week by an average Dutch consumer. Supermarkets spend quite a lot of money on marketing and advertising, and basically every supermarket claims to offer fair prices and the best products. Being a supermarket, how can you find out which supermarket is really the cheapest option? In order to find the answer to this question, RTL Nieuws (2014) executed a research experiment in which they bought the exact same grocery list at the 13 biggest supermarket chains in the Netherlands. Surprisingly, they found out that the bills varied quite a lot for a rather small grocery list, ranging from €11,17 for the cheapest supermarket to €23,35 for the most expensive one.

As shown in the experiment above, Dutch households can potentially save a lot of money on their grocery expenses by going to the cheapest supermarket. Gaspard Jaspers saw an opportunity for this problem, so he started with the development of Sjoprz, an app that enables users to compare 80.000 different products (Libbenga, 2015). After scanning a product at home or in the supermarket, this app directly displays which ingredients the particular product contains, what it costs in several supermarkets and where the product is currently on sale (Eindhovens Dagblad, 2015). Additionally, the app also shows the nutritional value of a product, allowing customers to shop for a healthy lifestyle.

Why has this app more potential than ‘Boodschapp’? 
In 2012, Boodschapp was launched with a similar idea as Sjoprz. However, the app went bankrupt 4 weeks ago, since they were not able to create a sustainable business model that generated enough revenue to cover the costs (Adformatie, 2015). According to the founder of Sjoprz, Gaspard Jaspers, Boodschapp failed because of limited information, where they particularly focused on health, while the customer values the price as a very important aspect as well.
Sjoprz, on the contrary, gives their users a push notification when their favorite products are on sale. Moreover, you just scan the barcode of products to find out where it is offered for the lowest price. This information about prices in particular, can be very valuable for a customer (Libbenga, 2015).

How did Sjoprz manage to obtain all this data? 
Without any doubt, it can be stated that uploading all information about all products available in the Dutch supermarkets requires a lot of work. In addition to that, the founder explained that no single supermarket in the Netherlands was willing to share their data about products with Sjoprz or to help with the development of the app. Looking at it from the perspective of the supermarket, this makes sense, because the app actually makes the supermarket industry fully transparent. When this app is completely developed, customers can see in a glance which supermarket is the best option. Supermarkets will probably see this as a threat, since they might become less popular once this app is used by a big percentage of supermarket customers. Consequently, their shopping behaviour is likely to change due to this app, resulting in the fact that customers will buy different products and brands, since they are better informed (Eindhovens Dagblad, 2015).

To conclude, it can be stated that this app improves customer informedness a lot, resulting in the fact that the supermarket industry becomes more transparent than it ever was. This shifts the power to the consumer, and according to the founder of the app, that is where the power should be.

References:

Adformatie. (2015, September 15). Boodschapp en Goodso failliet verklaard. Retrieved from http://www.adformatie.nl/nieuws/boodschapp-en-goodso-failliet-verklaard

Eindhovens Dagblad. (2015, April 25). Nieuwe app voor goedkopere en gezondere boodschappen. Retrieved from http://www.ed.nl/economie/nieuwe-app-voor-goedkopere-en-gezondere-boodschappen-1.4879856

Libbenga, J. (2015, October 15). ‘Een boodschappenapp die wel werkt’. Retrieved from http://www.emerce.nl/nieuws/een-boodschappenapp-die-wel-werkt

RTL Nieuws. (2014, November 05). Aldi, Lidl en Spar duurste supermarkten. Retrieved from http://www.rtlnieuws.nl/editienl/aldi-lidl-en-spar-duurste-supermarkten

Author: Ruud Schippers
Student number: 441698

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One response to “An app for finding the cheapest groceries?”

  1. robbertsweijen says :

    Interesting app and i think it can help a lot of households living on a string budget. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in the USA, where the coupon culture is very populair these days.

    However, I do see some limitations. For example, the app only gives data about the price and does not take travel time into account as far is i can read in your post. I think location is a key element in choosing your grocery shop. The trade-off between price and location should be further examined to see if people are going to use this app. I can tell from personal experience that i am willing to pay more for a grocery shop in my own neighborhood. It may be interesting to see if this company can combine this information with a delivery service.

    35759rs

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