SINGAPORE: A new crowdsourcing mobile application will allow shoppers to get more bang for their buck by comparing retail prices and promotions of groceries, household items and hawker food being sold at some outlets.
Price Kaki, launched by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) on Tuesday (Sep 10), will also allow users to track price changes and earn cash vouchers by contributing information on prices and promotions.
It can be downloaded on Apple’s App Store and Google Play during a pilot run from Sep 28, before being launched islandwide in early 2020.
“Price Kaki will serve as a tool for consumers to compare prices easily so that they can make more informed decisions and stretch their dollar,” CASE said in a statement after the launch event.
CASE president Lim Biow Chuan said the association has been helping consumers through initiatives like grocery and hawker food price surveys.
For a start, the app will list about 3,000 frequently purchased household and grocery items like milk, rice and eggs at 31 supermarkets in the pilot towns of Jurong West, Tampines and Toa Payoh.
Participating supermarkets are NTUC FairPrice, Giant, Sheng Siong and Prime Supermarket. CASE will continue to work with them to ensure the information is up to date.
The app will also list food prices at 11 hawker centres in the same towns, including the ones at Our Tampines Hub, Toa Payoh West Market and Boon Lay Place Market.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry Tan Wu Meng called the app a “progressive move” that “helps people starting with less”.
“It is a bit like a network of ‘kakis’ to share tips on shopping – exchanging knowledge on the best deals,” he said in a speech at the launch event on Tuesday.
“And this especially helps people who have less time; people who are less aware of market prices; people who are less experienced shoppers.”
Users can search for items by name or category, and apply search filters like location. For instance, you would be able to compare prices of black carrot cake from different eateries near Old Airport Road.
Users can also scan the barcode of an item in a supermarket to see how much it costs elsewhere.
The app will notify users of price changes for items that have been added to an alert list, while users will get rank points for submitting new prices and promotions. The most active users stand to win groceries, food and beverage, movie and transport e-vouchers every two weeks.
“The mobile application is simple to navigate, encouraging use and contribution,” CASE said, adding that it had considered user feedback and conducted several user testing sessions.
During the pilot run from Sep 28, users can compare and contribute prices for items in the pilot towns. This also allows the app to be tested and improved based on user feedback and experience.
“To raise awareness among consumers, CASE will be organising a series of outreach activities and tapping on local community events at these towns to guide consumers on how to use the mobile application,” it said.
“Subsequently, consumers will be able to compare and contribute prices for items across Singapore during the nationwide launch.”
CASE said the app is part of its efforts to educate consumers on their rights to choose and make informed purchasing decisions.
Dr Tan said CASE’s efforts to help consumers do not end here, adding that the association will share more “in due course”.
“I am encouraging CASE to continue helping consumers stretch hard-earned dollars with other tools to help our people make more informed decisions,” he stated.