Interview with Will Broome, CEO of Ubamarket

Ubamarket is an end-to-end, scan, pay & go solution, designed to remove the friction from in-store shopping. It is a white-label mobile app, offering a comprehensive shopping solution that helps retailers and hospitality venues to offer a streamlined, convenient and hyper-personalised “select and pay” experience to their customers. We effectively put the till in the customer’s hand, on their own trusted device.

By using the Ubamarket app, shops, bars and restaurants are able to offer a range of features to dramatically improve the experiential nature of their customers’ shop.

Features such as pre-written shopping lists, aisle sat-nav, one-tap in-app payments, exclusive access to personalised deals, automatic loyalty point collection, table delivery, collection points and facial recognition/age verification (for age restricted products) are brought together in one all-encompassing app, helping to rebuild consumer confidence in-store by enabling a fully socially distanced experience, whilst simultaneously reducing their shopping time, leaving them with the more enjoyable aspects of the process.
Ubamarket - Scan, Pay, Go!

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I came up with the idea for Ubamarket after receiving a text message including a lengthy shopping list. Upon entering the store I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if this text message magically rearranged itself into the order the items are displayed in-store and guided me to them?”.

Having discovered that 52% of us use a shopping list to shop in store, I deemed the idea worth pursuing and expanded the concept to a full end-to-end experience including list management, scanning of products, allergy alerts, personalised offers and one-tap, till-less payment.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

I have always believed that the best idea in the world is 1% of the journey. At most. I had no idea of the detail, the intricacies and the magnitude of the gauntlet you have successfully run (and conquer) to get your concept to fruition. The intricacies of bring the idea to life are very real – and most give up too soon! Much of the time, the World will seemingly conspire against you and will try to put you off on the basis ‘it’s already been done’ or ‘it’s a crazy idea’ but, never forget, so was the autonomous vehicle, the iPod and, back in the day, the lightbulb!

Also, I live life by a series of mantras one of my favourites being “You don’t drown by falling in the river. You drown by staying there!” This is a simple way of saying, you’ll get knocked down but don’t feel sorry for yourself – just keep getting back up! Another lesson is that ‘throwing the kitchen sink at people’ can have the opposite effect to your intentions. Sometimes, particularly when it’s an innovative tech-based product, the simplest MVP is more attractive (and less scary) than a much more detailed product, to your first batch of clients! Keep it simple. Always. Because once you have a foot in the door, you can build on that platform…

What can we hope to see from Ubamarket in the future?

I see the business providing the default app for many of the World’s major retail and hospitality groups, expanding rapidly on the great foundation we’ve already laid with a number of prominent customers ranging from Spar and Co-Op to Booker and Searcys. With the contracts we already have in place, we have the opportunity to roll-out to more than 1,000 venues, with many more pending.

We also have prominent alliances in place with major tech and payment companies, so there could be opportunities to expand on those partnerships and collaborations in the not too distant future.

As a consumer-facing tool which effectively puts the till in the hand of consumers, leap-frogging expensive legacy tech in the process, we could be the key to modernising POS vendors, loyalty systems and payment gateways in equal measure, creating new revenue opportunities and channels for more traditional businesses who need to pivot and adapt to a rapidly changing World, especially post-COVID.