Pole position

Ueno helps Polish retail giant move the needle with new app

Oct 22, 2019

In only eight months, Polish retail giant Zabka’s completely revamped mobile app has gained close to two million active users — about five percent of the country’s population.

A small team of designers and developers from Ueno’s offices in Reykjavík and New York worked with Zabka for six months to completely reimagine the app, which was released in February of this year.

“We had a brief that was quite open and a client that was willing to rethink everything,” said Arnar Ólafsson, Executive Creative Director of Ueno Reykjavík, who together with Lead Designer Marco Coppeto led the effort. “We’re incredibly happy with the outcome.”

After an inital strategic phase at Zabka's headquarters, the work moved to Reykjavík and New York, but with very regular and close contact with Zabka’s team in Poland.

“The design is the result of a close relationship between Ueno and the departments and stakeholders at Zabka," said Marco Coppeto. "We spent several days working with the team, understanding the needs of the market and shaping tighter the experience of the product.”

With close to 6,000 locations, Zabka is Poland's largest chain of convenience stores.

The concept and design of the app was intended to both boost and align with Zabka’s overall strategy of forging closer ties with the communities in which it operates.

Among several innovations: a social-type feed with contextual content based on factors such as time of day, geolocation, as well as personalized offers and product information. The app also features an innovative way for users to collect points and take part in challenges at Zabka's stores.

The success of the app has been greater than expected, and the team managing the app has grown steadily with the growth in users and new features.

In addition to conceiving and design the app, Ueno consulted on content, including guidelines for product photography and messaging strategy. Ueno’s developers also worked with Zabka’s team to integrate the app's functions with the company’s IT infrastructure.

Arnar Ólafsson, drinking his morning coffee.

Marco Coppeto, putting out fires.

“Our goal was to create an app that would really strengthen Zabka’s relationship with its customers,” said Arnar Ólafsson. “We wanted an app that users would love, and that would really move the needle for the company. Looks like it’s working.”

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