Alaska grocery store releases phone app to assist rural deliveries
Alaska Commercial Company is touting its free online app as a way for Western Alaskans to order food and supplies without making a phone call.
The app is available for download in both the Apple and Android app stores. To find it, users must search for “Alaska Commercial Company” and not just “AC.”
The app can be found in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
It allows shoppers to order, finalize payment, get order updates, and see past orders using the app. The app would allow village residents who live in a community with no physical store to have their orders delivered by air carrier.
Alaska Commercial stores in Western Alaska are located in Nome, Kotzebue, Kiana, Galena, Unalakleet, St. Michael, Kotlik, Emmonak, Mountain Village, St. Mary’s, Aniak and Hooper Bay.
“It is an online shopping app, so customers can order from their nearest Alaska Commercial store on the app,” Meagan Wilson, the E-Commerce Manager for Alaska Commercial Company said. “The orders will be filled through their home store that is set based on their zip code.”
According to Wilson, residents that have purchased using the app since the start of the year live in the villages of Brevig Mission, Elim, Golovin, Koyuk, Savoonga, Shaktoolik, Shishmaref, Stebbins, Teller, Wales and White Mountain.
Wilson says once you place the order online it will usually be shipped by the next business day. For rural delivery, customers can select a requested date for their order to be delivered to the airline for shipment to their village.
“It replaces having to call in and make a phone-in bush order,” she said. “You can create your bush order online and you can pay for it online and then the store will fill your order and ship it to you.”
According to Wilson, the cost of freight is added to all orders by default. Users can, however, choose to pay for freight separately from their order. For orders shipping out of Nome, AC utilizes Bering Air.
The company is currently developing a desktop website that will offer the same options for customers who prefer or need to use a computer instead of a smartphone.
Alaska Commercial is also asking the federal government to allow SNAP recipients in villages off the road system to pay for freight with their Alaska Quest Card.
Image at top: Alaska Commercial Company’s free app can be found in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Photo by Greg Knight/KNOM