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Sainsbury's becomes latest supermarket to join m-commerce sector

19 August 2010 - 09:40 by Sarah Collinson

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Two new applications for the iPhone have been launched by Sainsbury's, which marks the arrival of yet another high street name on the mobile shopping circuit.

The standard Sainsbury's app is available on the App Store and iPhone owners can download it free of charge. It has a range of basic features including a store locator, together with slightly more advanced functions, including the ability to give the users personalised deals which will appeal to their tastes.

The second app to integrate Sainsbury's functionality is for those who use the Nectar card reward scheme and, as such, it is also compatible with other retailers including Homebase. This essentially allows users to earn Nectar points using their mobile phones.

Sainsbury's Mike Coupe said that consumers would be able to find bargains and get the most out of their free time thanks to the new applications and he was keen to highlight the fact that the deals and offers would be delivered to mobile phones to encourage in-store shopping.

Key rivals have already jumped into the m-commerce sector with applications. Tesco has been a particularly eager exponent of the technology, recently launching an app that allows customers to amend grocery orders they have made whilst safe shopping online.

Sainsbury's was quizzed as to whether it would be following in the footsteps of Tesco and producing fully fledged retail apps with the help of third party developers, but a spokesperson would not be drawn on the subject.

Sainsbury's used its official Twitter account to announce that it would be expanding the compatibility of its mobile app beyond the iPhone as it aims to ride the m-commerce boom across mobile platforms.

Experts believe that m-commerce is going to continue to grow over the next two years as retailers pump money into the industry and consumers become ever more confident in safe shopping online via their phones.