Foodie.FM is working together with S Group to turn the walls of commuter locations in Helsinki into virtual stores. Its kind of a crazy concept, but a convenient use of time for consumers waiting for transportation. It works like this: say you're waiting at the Metro, for example. There you can find virtual displays of a selection of products with barcodes which you can scan using the Foodie.fm on your smartphone. Orders are then later delivered to your home, with orders made before 3pm being delivered on the same day.
The virtual store's displays products from Alepa, which is one of S Group’s grocery chains with over 80 neighborhood stores in the Helsinki area. S Group the leading retailer in Finland with 45.2% market share.
HOK-Elanto is running the delivery operations, and in it costs €9.90 for the item picking and delivery. Payment is made at the door. Foodie.FM allows grocery items to be selected and delivered through the app by searching for products or through search. The service (without the virtual wall advertisements) is also available in Oulu and Kuopio.
“Finns love their mobiles and technology that makes their everyday-lives easier. Now with the virtual stores, Foodie.fm users can order food while waiting for the metro or tram for example. S Group has been running personalised online store with Foodie’s technology for a while now and the new virtual store is a natural extension to their service,” explains Kalle Koutajoki, CEO of Digital Foodie.
The same concept has been tested and run in Korea through Tesco Homeplus, but this is the first I've heard the concept tested in the west. Foodie.fm's app and web service is also available with Tesco in the UK, linked through the Tesco API but not quite a partnership like with the S Group in Finland.
CEO Koutajoki is sure to point out that home deliveries are only one part of their operations, with assisted buying being a good part of their focus. Foodie.FM helps with searching for inspirations for recipes and building a shipping list of what to pick up at the store. The company has access to real-time pricing for S Group stores, as well as ingredients and nutritional information.
Foodie.fm has seen good growth in Finland, hitting 220 000 users which is a sizable chunk of the country's 5.3 million population.