In Spain, we mainly buy from Mercadona, Carrefour, LIDL, Día, Eroski and Alcampo, according to data from Kantar and Statista. Mercadona is the one who takes the biggest piece of the cake, with more than 24% market share, quite far from its competitors. Each of them has an application, both to organize the shopping list and to place orders.
We wanted buy the applications of each of these supermarkets, to know how they are bringing technology to our mobile phones.
The Mercadona app
We can already tell you that the Mercadona application is the best in terms of design and performance, although its operation is a bit particular. When we open it, it asks us to enter the postal code, something necessary to receive the purchase at home. Although Mercadona operates at home in almost all of Spain, the app only works in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia (where the new website also works).
The Mercadona app only allows you to buy in Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid, but we can check products and make a shopping list from anywhere in Spain by entering with another postal code
What is the solution so that the rest of the users can enter? Fake a zip code from the app. If our postal code is not valid, we will see the option to ‘enter with a valid postal code’. In doing so, in our tests, You have entered us with a Valencian postal code, 46004. The application allows us see the entire list of products, the new arrivals at Mercadona, all product categories, with their subcategories, emojis, etc.
If we have an account and we place an order, we will also have access to our usual ones, so as not to have to be making the list from scratch. The app does not have a specific ‘list’ section, but just add products to the cart to create it.
When making the list, we will know how many units of product we are buying, the price of each product and the approximate total of what we are buying. Whether the price is approximate will depend or not on whether we buy products by weight or only products with a price already closed.
But, how does the Mercadona app know the stock and the products to make the list, if we are entering with a Valencian postal code? We have consulted Mercadona and this is the key: The app shows the products that, in general, the Valencian supermarket has to which we “enter”.
“Upon entering with a postal code that does not have the new online shopping service activated (that is, from outside Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona) they could access to see the store showing the general assortment of a Valencia postal code. In general, the assortment is very similar to that found in physical stores except for local products and some “laboratory” products (which are test products that are being introduced in different geographical areas). “
The main downside of the Mercadona app is that does not allow to make the purchase on-line except in the areas mentioned above. As we will see later, it is a point where it lags behind some of its rivals.
At the performance level, as we have anticipated, it is at the level of what is expected of an app in 2021. Responds fast, works smoothly and it shows that it is created by and to search for products from the application itself, without redirecting us to any website.
The Carrefour app
The Carrefour app forces us to create an account to use it, requesting quite personal data on a mandatory basis, such as the DNI. In return, it offers us biometric identification to access it and does not allow screenshots (Something quite annoying, in case we want to share a screenshot of the shopping list with a friend or family member). To our understanding, too many security measures for a supermarket app.
The Carrefour app asks for a good amount of data to enter, it is the slowest to load and the screenshots are blocked
At the option level, the Carrefour app does have a specific ‘My Lists’ section and, in addition, it allows us to access coupons, supermarket brochures (customized according to our closest store). The list section does not work as well as Mercadona’s. For starters, the loading times are somewhat high.
Second, the interface is not entirely clear. The lists section takes us directly to the purchase section Therefore, if we click on ‘add’, we will not be adding the product to the list, but directly to the cart. To add it to the list, click on the favorites button.
To know how much we are going to spend, we will have to add the products to the shopping cartIf we keep them in a list, the final price will not be shown. In order to finalize this purchase, we will only have to fill in our data, establish delivery times and pay (as long as the delivery is available for our area).
If we want to pay at the supermarket itself, without shipping, the app allows us to generate a QR code linked to our Club card, to directly include the coupons on said card. Carrefour has its Carrefour Pay payment system, through which we pay with the phone, we have discounts, we accumulate points and we do not print tickets in the store. Simply add a VISA or Mastercard, generate the QR code and, once at the checkout, show the code to the cashier or cashier.
The LIDL app
The LIDL application opens its doors to us without the need to create an account. It has a search engine in its upper part, different categories highlighted in its central part and the sections of Home, Online Brochures, Shopping Cart, Wish List and more in its lower part. At the level of performance and loading times, it is close to the Mercadona app, easily surpassing that of Carrefour.
Without even having to access the Wish List section, the LIDL interface is very intuitive when adding products to lists. Next to each product we have the cart button and the heart button, to add to the shopping cart or wish list.
Another section that we liked is that the app, apart from the brochures, shows us the offers of the week in our trusted store (The one that we have selected manually or by geolocation. Here the LIDL app has no rival, since we have sections of outstanding offers (indicating from which day the offers start and if the products will be available online). In order to make the purchase, we only have to register (we can do it with email or Facebook), fill in the data and request the shipment, as long as it is available in our area.
The DIA app
The daytime app allows access without registration, but if we want to make the purchase it is necessary. The daytime app has some lag in its animations and its interface is not as current as that of Mercadona or LIDL. Here we have a search engine at the top, the categories just below and some of your offers and products in the central part. If we add the products to the cart, we will be able to know the final price of the basket, as well as ask for home delivery if our area is compatible.
The DIA app is somewhat spartan and its interface is somewhat outdated. It’s functional, but needs a facelift and more features
The Lists section does not work too well, since it takes us back to the search engine, not allowing us to save the products as favorites. The app has no more functions, since the offers take us to the web, they are not integrated into the application.
The Eroski app
The Eroski app asks us for registration to access the products it has for sale. The positive side is that it allows us to register with Google, Facebook and Apple, so the process is quite fast.
The operation is more than correct, being also one of the most complete in functions. From the app menu we can access notifications, brochures, savings vouchers, news, shopping lists and more. The main problem with the Eroski app is that it forces us to become members of the Eroski ClubOtherwise, almost no section of the app will work.
Once we become partners, we can access savings vouchers, check the offers and everything related to the supermarket. Nevertheless, the Eroski app does not allow you to buy online, but it sends us directly to the web.
The Alcampo app
The Alcampo app has a very different design from the rest, since it works with categories in the central part of the app and the search engine just below. At the performance level, it is a bit slow compared to that of LIDL, Mercadona and Eroski, remaining at the level of the Carrefour app.
With this app we can make the purchase online, to receive at home, pick up in store or pick up in parking lot. In case the purchase exceeds 90 euros, the collection in parking is free. The list section is especially careful, which allows us to name them, set alerts and so on, although the interface is quite sparse.
What is the best app?
In the server’s opinion, The app that gives the best user experience is Mercadona, but the most complete is LIDL. The Mercadona app is the fastest, the one that best categorizes the products and the one that adds the products to the cart the fastest. In quick tasks, such as making a shopping list, speed is essential, and the rest of the rivals do not perform too well at this point.
The LIDL app, for its part, is somewhat more complete, especially shining in the offers section. The rest of the apps, although they fulfill their function, pass this exam in a more scratchy way. Most have somewhat outdated interfaces, too high load times, and somewhat frustrating user experiences..