University of Wisconsin business students are helping people “fetch” their groceries and receive automatic savings with the creation of a new smartphone application.
UW School of Business student Wes Schroll developed the idea for this application about a year ago while he was standing in line and watching people unload their groceries and put them back in their cart, co-founder of the company, dubbed Fetch Rewards, Dan Litvak said.
“It’s the kind of repetitive process we are all accustomed to at the checkout line,” Litvak, a UW computer science student, said. “[Schroll] was sort of thinking ‘there has got to be a better way.’”
Schroll said he contacted Fresh Madison Market when he first began to develop the idea for the application and they agreed to partner with him.
“[Fresh Madison Market] was interested in what we were doing and wanted to move forward with it and bring their customers the most innovative experiences they thought they could,” Schroll said.
Fetch allows people to walk around Fresh Madison Market with their smartphones and scan the barcodes of the products they want using the camera, Schroll said. When the barcode is scanned the application applies any coupons and deals in the Fetch database and provides you with a running total of the shopping cart, he said.
When people are done collecting their groceries, they hit the checkout button and the cart’s information is sent to the Fresh Market computer so they do not have to rescan their items upon checkout, Schroll said. While paying for the items, the employees bag them to make the checkout process faster and more efficient, he said.
Students are looking for savings but often do not have the time with midterms and projects on their plate. The Fetch application helps both students’ time and money, Litvak said.
Schroll said Fetch already has more than 1,500 users and has only encountered a few glitches, all of which he said were minor.
“There were some bumps in the road when we first started in terms of just getting the technology right and working … but a lot of our customers and users have been willing to bear with us on that,” Schroll said.
The Fetch team is continuing to modify the application by looking into redesigning certain aspects of it that will improve the user’s experience, Litvak said.
Beyond the functionality of the application, the company is also hoping to create partnerships with more brands in the future to bring more coupons and saving opportunities to UW students, Schroll said.
“We hope the customers will like the fact that we are continuing to bring them as many interesting and valuable coupons as we can,” Schroll said.
Representatives from Fresh Madison Market were unavailable for comment.