SINGAPORE - A mobile app by the consumer watchdog that lets users check prices of supermarket items will be rolling out new features including one that tells them where to buy a basket of items at the lowest price and another that will allow them to buy the groceries through the app.
The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) plans to roll out the new features on its Price Kaki app from the third quarter of this year. One of them, Shopping List, would allow users to create a virtual basket of items, calculate how much that basket would cost at the supermarket nearest to them and find out where they can purchase that basket of items at the lowest price.
Case president Melvin Yong, who is also the MP for Radin Mas, said Price Kaki now only lets a user look up individual prices of items across different supermarkets, but in reality, most consumers buy several items at one go when they make a grocery run. "The cost savings for one item may be quite little, but it is substantial when you're looking at a basket of items."
Mr Seah Take Wee, 41, an engineer who uses Price Kaki to check the price of his groceries and find out about promotions, said he is looking forward to the Shopping List feature the most.
“I will have an overview of the number of items, the total price and cost-savings I will enjoy. This allows me to review my shopping list based on the product’s country of origin, size and also determine if the item is an impulsive buy or a necessity,” he said.
Another feature in the pipeline is Shopping Cart, which allows users to check out their items from a partner online retailer. Mr Yong noted: "After browsing, the next logical thing you want to do is to buy. Now, you don't have to separately log onto the supermarket's retail website; you can buy directly and check out straightaway."
Case is looking at integrating the online retail websites of Singapore's major supermarkets into the app so users can browse and buy groceries on the same platform. They are also hoping to get other online retailers onboard from the fourth quarter of this year.
Mr Yong said Case is in talks with potential partners including e-marketplaces and online grocers and could not give further details.
In a blog post on Thursday (May 12), he said the app had crossed the 100,000 download milestone.
Among other updates are plans to gamify the app in 2023 so users can complete task-based challenges in exchange for vouchers from supermarkets or Price Kaki's other partners.
Mr Yong said that like online retailers Lazada and Shopee, which incorporate games into their platforms, the aim is to establish customer loyalty by encouraging usage and to attract new users.
Case also proposes to introduce an online platform for social networking into the app by the fourth quarter of 2022, where users can share grocery deals and bargains. This is on top of its plans to display unit pricing to combat shrinkflation - in which the size of a product is reduced while its price is kept the same - for items that can be easily measured, such as drinks and snacks. This will be introduced in the third quarter.
Lastly, Case is looking to expand the list of products on Project Kaki from the current 5,500 to 10,000 by the end of 2022.
These include food and household essentials from produce to toiletries. It is also hoping to rope in more retailers and online grocers, as well as contact industry stakeholders like coffee shop associations.