Did you know that Costco.com has gone mobile? And that you can even get text alerts from Costco now? That’s right, Costco has started getting all techie on us. I’ve even heard that later this year they’ll be introducing a smartphone app for the first time ever. So exciting!
They have been doing the text messaging thing for a while now, but I thought I should mention it again for those that weren’t aware that Costco US offered this service. The text messages will contain information about new products or featured items that you can find at your local Costco on your next shopping trip. But really, there’s a whole slew of information that they are sending out via these text messages. The good news is that even though they are sharing all of this information, they say they will only send a maximum of eight texts per month; no one wants to be inundated by constant text messages from a business. So, signing up to receive the text alerts is as easy as texting COSTCO to 71034. After that you’ll be alerted to all kinds of useful Costco information, such as:
- Special Offer Alerts
- Alerts for new warehouse openings
- Warehouse closures
- Information on road shows and demos at your local Costco
- Coupon Book delivery notices
- Don’t forget that normal message and data rates apply
I’m not sure exactly how long Costco US and Costco Canada have been offering their website in a mobile format, but it could be pretty useful if you are a frequent shopper on Costco.com/Costco.ca or just want to use it to check prices when you are out shopping. You can view them in your regular browser, as well, if you just want to check them out, but in either case you can find them at: m.costco.com and m.costco.ca for the two locations. While the two mobile sites for the US and Canada are quite similar they don’t offer all of the same things, which I’m sure is just down to the features that Costco offers in the two countries. On both of the sites, you have quick, on the go, access to all of the products on their websites. You can browse for and buy anything you could find on the regular, full websites. You will be able to view all product images and information, shipping terms and any user reviews. That’s right, now you can buy things like the $32,000 diamond earrings on Costco.com right from your phone. And it is all in an easy to read on your phone, skinny format. I don’t know how many people are buying something like those earrings but at least you have the option now.
And if you did buy those earrings, you can check on the order status via their mobile website too. In fact, you can use your regular login from the full website and see a summary of all of your orders quite easily. From that list, it’s pretty easy to drill down to view information about a specific order or to track its delivery. Along with that type of information, you can view and update anything else in your online account profile, like your billing address or credit card information. Pretty much all of the stuff that you have control over for the full websites, you can control from the mobile site as well. You can even get to the latest edition of The Costco Connection, which you can read right on your phone. It’s a little small maybe, but it wasn’t completely unreadable on my iPhone.
If you purchase your prescription medications through Costco US, you can even refill a prescription using the mobile website. It seems pretty easy and like it shouldn’t make you too frustrated. Of course, you’ll need all of your information from your prescription to fill in the form completely. I think it would be nice if they could have a list available of your previous prescription orders, much like they do for regular product orders. Maybe they’ll get around to updating that soon. The other useful pharmacy feature is that you can use the drug pricing to get that information for easy comparisons when you are at another pharmacy. I love a bit of comparison shopping and anything that makes it this much easier gets a big gold star in my book. Unfortunately, the mobile site for Costco Canada doesn’t offer these pharmacy features but it doesn’t look like you can order prescriptions through their full website either.
You can also find your nearest Costco location when on the go or maybe when you are visiting an unfamiliar area. On my iPhone they used my current location to determine the list of nearest warehouses to show me. Of course, you can also perform a regular location search using a city name, address or post code too.
There’s one last thing that I want to mention about the mobile sites: warehouse coupons and instant savings deals. This should make it super easy for everyone to keep track of the current coupon offers in the US and Canada. Much like the PDFs that I post on my site, or the coupons that are viewable on the full websites, you can’t use these in the stores to get the discounts, they are just for information.
I think the mobile sites are great! And I hope that this offers a bit of insight into what the future Costco app might be like. I am amazed at how really usable the mobiles sites are for making purchases and finding information. It’s far better than a lot of mobile sites that I have tried to use and left in frustration. I especially like that they have carried over all of your customer information, including the login, from the full websites. Believe it or not, far too many mobile sites seem to act like they are completely different from the full website so you can use the same login and they won’t carry over all of the customer information. At that point, it seems far less useful than a company should aim for or settle for, in any case. I just noticed that if I place something in my cart via the mobile website that it is there waiting for me in my cart when I go to the full website too. How great is that? I’m hoping that when they bring out the app, they also allow you to have the same login and that will link with your regular Costco.com/Costco.ca customer information and your cart will carry over as well. I like the flexibility to put things into my cart via the mobile website, or an app, and have it in my cart on the full websites too. I often do this with other retailers and certainly think Costco is doing well to allow that type of usage and flexibility. Go Costco!