Indigo releases iOS and Android app to improve in-store and mobile shopping

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Indigo, whose affiliation with Kobo and its mobile ecosystem is well known, had a mobile app of its own, but until today that hasn’t been the case.

The Canadian-owned book- and gift-seller has been steadily expanding its retail operations throughout the country, offering a curated selection of household items and gifts in addition to books and magazines. But, as the internet tends to do, disruption ensued and Indigo found itself courting customers who were merely browsing for books and ordering them at a discount from Amazon.

So the company devised a plan. It would release full-service retail apps for iOS and Android, providing not only an online shopping experience but a way to keep people in the app (and not Amazon’s) when physically inside the store. To that end, they encourage users not only to check in to the store they’re visiting, but allow them to receive the equivalent online discount if the list price is higher.


The app, which has been specially-created for the company by Toronto-based BNOTIONS, adheres to both platforms’ design guidelines quite nicely: the Android app has that now-recognizable left-side sliding menu, and the iOS version keeps things flat and simple, with a set of icons arrayed on the bottom for quick navigation.

Plum Rewards users can add their loyalty card to the account and accrue points for future discounts, and the app also focuses on giving users as personalized an experience as possible. For example, checking into a specific store brings up discounts and specials for that location, and uses your past buying history to issue offers “just for you.”

The app is a little busy, but that’s because Indigo wants its customers to do practically everything from within it. This includes making Wish Lists (holidays!), Gift Lists (holidays!), managing gift cards, current orders, and more. It’s also possible to scan the barcode of a product to determine its best online price, and the app, once you check in to a store, tells you how much inventory there is of a certain product.

Of course, no shopping app would be complete without a persistent nag to log in to Facebook and share your gift ideas or purchases with the world, but that, along with push notifications for offers and other promotions, can be disabled from within the settings.

One advantage of the iPhone version is integration with Passbook, which lets you pick a favourite store and more easily access your rewards card from the lock screen.

Indigo has created a great companion to its in-store shopping experience with these iOS and Android apps, and it should help stem the flow of buyers to that other online-only marketplace.

[source]Google Play, iTunes[/source]