The Co-op Membership App, as told by Team Apadmi

When we first partnered with the Co-op a few years ago, we set out to develop a new mobile channel designed to engage members and boost loyalty. We love a challenge, so we knew we were onto something good.

After using the Co-op’s extensive reports, research and real-life member insights, our team of mobile experts aimed to drive membership scheme interaction by building the Co-op Membership App. We launched a prototype app in BETA in 2018 before a full launch in 2019. (If you’d like to read about the nitty gritty head over to our Co-op Membership Case Study.)

Where are we now?

The Co-op Membership app celebrated it’s first official birthday in September 2020 – and it’s audience continues to grow. Since launch, it’s acquired over 450,000 users. 

Behind the scenes though, we’ve worked alongside the Co-op and our internal data team to run reviews and track metrics, to continue pushing on with ways of innovating the platform. 

One element we’ve loved watching grow is the Co-op’s ‘Local Community Fund’ and the in-app donation features we’ve built to support this. This became a massive focal point for members last year, allowing them to do their bit and give back to their local community. 

In 2019, members donated over £17m to over 4,000 local causes through unspent rewards and member donations in the app. 

And we’ve not stopped there…

This year we’ve continued to innovate with the Co-op teams, just at home, not in their HQ. 

We’ve come through the pandemic with a series of new, exclusive features designed to improve the Co-op Membership App and further drive scheme engagement. 

Members can now add their own personalised offers onto the digital card stored in the app, and redeem them at the till, across both branded and own-brand products.

We caught up with members of the Apadmi team who have worked on the Co-op Membership App to see what they think of the project.

Co-op Membership App Developer
Annie – Project Coordinator

I joined Apadmi in July, and have been working with the Co-op as Project Coordinator for the September relaunch. I’m responsible for leading the collaboration with internal Co-op teams and their external creative agencies, to ensure the relaunch went ahead as smoothly as possible. Working with a range of teams and disciplines, I supported a few key areas such as app analytics, release planning, app store optimisation and QR code testing.

The membership team at the Co-op are a wonderful bunch to work alongside. They really drive a co-operative spirit amongst their team and the wider business, which shines through in the app and the successful 2020 relaunch! 

What’s your favourite feature?

Definitely the membership card screen. This contains the QR code – aka digital membership card and can be scanned at tills in stores. Alongside multiple teams at the Co-op, we worked tirelessly to develop this feature and I even got to visit the Co-op labs to test its functionality ahead of the launch which was great fun. The Card screen looks and works brilliantly, and I know it will be very useful for members!

Co-op Membership App Developer
Sam – Android Platform Lead

Throughout the Co-op project, I’ve been responsible for building and managing the android platform. This has involved creating the authentication side of things, initially on a user interface built by another member of our team. After that, I worked on the offers, causes and discovery pages, and then more recently created the QR code. 

What’s your favourite feature?

The ‘squircle’ shape that forms the background of the main squircle screen. It’s drawn according to the mathematical definition of a squircle and animated using a series of matrix transformations to maximise performance and the smoothness of the animations – very impressive!

I’ve loved working on this project during my time at Apadmi, and more recently I’ve enjoyed mentoring Chris and Frazer who have been growing their android knowledge considerably with my help. Through the close collaboration, the Co-op Digital team has also learned a lot about mobile development and why it’s so important to get it right.

Co-op Membership App Developer
Frazer – Apprentice Mobile Developer

I’ve been working on the Co-op Membership App under guidance from Sam, to design the android version of the app. (Big thanks to Sam, he’s been a great mentor).

My main responsibilities were to help build the cause list page which showcases all possible charities that each member can support. I also implemented the filter screen – it changes which causes are displayed within the cause list. 

What was your favourite element of the app to work on?

It was a very small aspect that dictated the text-colour in response to the background colour. I had to get the colour of the background in hex form and then convert it into HSV. I then took the vibrance value and determined the text colour based on this. If the vibrance was between 0.5 and 1, it would be a darker colour, similarly it was between 0 – 0.5 then the text colour would be a lighter colour. In the grand scheme of things this was a very small function, but I enjoyed focusing on the logic of it and figuring it out. 

I’m excited to see how we develop the app further, and to think about levels of authentication and accessibility in future.

Co-op Membership App
Chris – Software Engineer

I’ve been working on the iOS iteration of the Co-op Membership App, primarily focusing on the membership tab within the app that houses the causes and community insights. This is where members can learn about different causes and donate their balance.

What’s your favourite feature?

The QR within the digital membership card replaces the need for a physical card – a feature that’s been requested by a massive number of Co-op members. So building this, knowing how much of a difference it will make for members, has been enjoyable. It’s also an interesting feature, as it relied on hardware that itself had limitations, and so it was in testing for a while to discover those limitations. We then adapted our software solution to increase the reliability of the QR code – this involved removing other features off the QR code screen and enabling it to brighten if a user makes it known they’re struggling with it.

The app itself is a collection of useful tools and features for Co-op members, but it also has a cool ‘discover page’ where recipes, in store deals and occasional competitions can be found. 

What features would be fun to build in future?

We gave the app a Christmas theme over the festive season in 2019 and this was great fun to do. I’d love to integrate more of the Co-op’s marketing campaigns into the app, whether that be themes for hidden eggs at Easter, or just little surprises for the Co-op members using the app it makes the development process a little more light-hearted.

Co-op Membership App New Features

Co-op Membership App New Features Co-op Membership App New Features Co-op Membership App New Features







If you’d like to find out more about our partnerships with the Co-op, head over to our work page to see our latest case studies here