/ Food & Drink, Shopping

Would you find a sat-nav useful for your supermarket shop?

supermarket sat nav

Navigating your way around a supermarket at this time of year can be really frustrating; full of special offers and seasonal aisles, it can be even trickier to seek out items like milk, eggs and butter. So how helpful would a supermarket sat-nav be to you?

Back when I was a shop assistant at Waitrose you were expected to know your way around the store. That way, when a customer asked where an item was kept, you’d be able to walk with them to find it.

Very soon I realised I’d gained the ability to navigate my way around most of the big-name supermarkets, as they all had similar layouts.

Enter and you’d be greeted by the fresh fruit and veg, followed by the meat and the bakery, and then the tins. Sugar and dairy products would be somewhere near the back, as would the freezers and the booze.

In fact, I got so familiar with it all that I reckon I would have made a killing on Dale’s Supermarket Sweep.

Lost skill

These days, my homing skills aren’t as sharp, mostly because I tend to shop in micro stores (Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local, etc), where the same principles don’t seem to apply.

I’ll spend an inordinate amount of time traipsing up and down the aisles looking for items on my list (why can I never find the eggs?), and I’m guaranteed to buy way more than I’d intended, especially if I spy an offer.

Get me in an Aldi or a Lidl, where everything’s completely different, and I’m totally lost but curiously drawn to the miscellaneous items they display in the middle.

Saving time

What I could really do with is a map of every store I frequent – and that’s why I got a bit excited when I heard about new ‘supermarket sat-nav’ app, Ubamarket.

This app works on your smartphone and gets you to select a participating store, create a shopping list and then arranges the products in the order they appear in that shop’s aisles. This supposedly means you’ll follow a logical route, rather than aimlessly wandering from one end of the store to the other.

What’s more, it apparently also cuts down the amount of time you spend at the tills. As you work your way through your list, you scan the barcode with your phone, so that when you reach the check-out all you have to do is swipe the app at a paypoint and settle up – you don’t even need to unload.

Whether you can actually save money is questionable though; by sharing your shopping habits with the app you’ll receive personalised offers as you shop. This is apparently ‘based on the products you like to buy, without even having to think about it’.

The app is set to be rolled out to 5,000 UK stores including branches of Budgens, Morrisons, Spar and Nisa. Future versions will enable automatic payments via a prestored credit card.

Supermarket sat-nav

While I reckon a supermarket sat-nav app could save me precious time, maybe some pennies and perhaps even my sanity, I’m doubtful it would tempt me away from the reduced section.

How easy is it to navigate your local supermarket? Would you use a sat-nav app when grocery shopping? Would a similar app prove useful in other stores aside from supermarkets?


Is it April 1st?




Supermarket shopping is not my favourite pastime and Tesco has been playing hide and seek with me for years. Being male, I’m reluctant to ask where they have hidden the Marmite (other yeast extract spreads are available). I would be happy to give a supermarket app a go provided it is not used for marketing.

Lesley says:
22 November 2016

Definitely especially in Icelands as they move their stock around ever few weeks and it drives me nuts


I hate shopping but this convo falls down at the first fence .I visit Morrison’s+the Co-op ,you can have a 100 sat-navs but what do you do when the supermarket MOVES its produce to force you to check out its other items for sale ? This is done on a regular basis . Boots seems to keep its stuff in the same place but thats the exception . Wavechange is “reluctant” to ask where the Marmite is —I am the exact opposite I loudly complain that they have /changed/hidden/ ran out of stock of items and I demand to speak to somebody , I actually go round looking for staff and have made a few mistakes thinking customers were staff , like a well dressed man in shirtsleeves who I thought was the manager . If they want me to pay out money for their stock then they can jolly well help me get it. I dont do embarrassed. Tomorrow its Morrison,s.


On the other hand I am not reluctant to complain about missing unit prices. 🙂


Supermarkets regularly move products around, are they going to keep Ubamarket up-to-date?

Can you imagine all those sat-navs? At the end of the aisle turn right. Take the second right. You will arrive at your next product in 30 seconds. You have arrived at the baked beans. Only they moved the baked beans this morning and you are looking at Xmas puds. But on the way to the baked beans you took the first right to look at something else. Recalculating route. Turn around when possible. Take the first right.

It would drive me nuts.


Thanks for that Alfa that made me laugh ! –Yes take the first right back out the door.

alfa says: