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Longo's debuts online grocery iPad app

Toronto grocer says iPad app is first of its kind in Canada

Longo’s has launched an online shopping and delivery app for iPad.

The Toronto grocery chain says its Grocery Gateway iPad app, which was developed by digital shopper marketing company Unata, is the first of its kind in Canada.

The app lets customers of Longo's e-grocery service, Grocery Gateway, create orders, select a delivery time and check out using a credit card.

"Launching a dedicated iPad experience is an important part of supporting our customer base's growing demand for a convenient mobile experience," Stephen Tallevi, general manager for Grocery Gateway, said in a release.

Longo’s announced its partnership with Unata last October, the same day it launched an iPhone and mobile web app.

Chris Bryson, CEO of Unata, said that by the time the two companies inked the deal, Grocery Gateway was “already well established.”

So Unata’s mission was to “power their mobile experiences, with a spin on it to make sure the experiences were highly personalized.”

Bryson provided a few examples of these personalized features. One is a "Featured" section that automatically generates product collections for shoppers based on criteria such as their most frequently purchased items, top sellers and trending products.

“Personalizing is critical, especially in the retail environment,” said Bryson. " has thousands of products, and customers are starved for time. So this puts the right items in front of them right off the bat.”

The app appears to be user-friendly as well, which no doubt contributed to its high 4.5 rating (out of 5) on the App Store, where it can be downloaded for free.

A 2010 DataMonitor study described online grocery as the world’s “next star performer” in online retailing, but there are shockingly few of these services in Canada compared to countries such as Great Britain where most of the top grocery chains offer online ordering.

Bryson estimates there are a few specialized e-grocers in Western Canada (including, which is available in Vancouver, on Vancouver Island and in Calgary). But he believes that Grocery Gateway, which services the Toronto area, is the top online grocer in Canada.

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