Over the past few years, to put it mildly, Tescos reputation has suffered in the eyes of the British public, due to the recent issues of the horse-meat scandal, bad accounting and poor customer experience/value. They have a long way to go to gain their trust back from lost customers and gain back the momentum from the budget competitors, but technology in Tesco might be one route to help them do just that.
Tesco have always been good at keeping up with the latest technology. Here is how technology in Tesco is improving online and offline shopping for both the customer and their employees, which could give you ideas when considering updates, for improving online and offline shopping in your own e-commerce / retail business.
Technology in Tesco – Overview
To make the lives of the employees in charge of stock counting easier, Tesco have introduced a new RFID-enabled barcode to their F&F clothing range in-store. This works in combination with their further development announcement of BYOD.
It allows the products to be automatically counted and removed upon entering and leaving the store, before and after purchase. This information is also back-tracked to the suppliers of the store, to give them an accurate replenishment of stock and improve the overall in-store experience for shoppers.
Matt Newby, head of technology says:
“The deployment has given the business its most accurate real-time view of inventory accuracy yet. Tagged products are scanned every time they enter the store, before tags are removed at the point of sale.”
If This Then Than
This is a clever development that Tesco have formally introduced for improving offline and online shopping for customers. It meets the drive between a multi-channel approach and both online & offline shopping, which Tesco seem to have always been up-to-date with.
Tesco have recently con-joined with IFTTT (If This Then Than) to create the ultimate shopping experience for customers. An app which allows you to connect other active apps to each other and combine how and why you use them, to make a customer’s life more efficient.
For example: If a product goes up or down in price, you can make it so you receive an automatic email regarding the price change. Very few people are aware of this as it’s only processing through its trial stage, but the results have been promising to advancing automated E-Commerce and online and offline shopping. Is this app the way forward in e-commerce?
Bring Your Own Device. That’s Tesco’s new motto for employees at the moment. Tesco Labs’ head of technology in Tesco research, Paul Wilkinson explained more on the grocers “Inform app” which is being rolled-out to stores all over the country.
It is an app for store manager employees to download, login and keep a real-time record of stock levels and availability by simply scanning a product’s barcode or side-shelf label and it pulls through useful, accurate information to ensure employees are getting products back in stock as soon as they go out.
It also enables staff to be more efficient and quick when dealing with customers requests as they have an accurate reading of in-stock products, instead of having to make a customer wait 10 minutes while you “check out back”.
For online shoppers, Tesco have stated a demand they feel is almost a must in this digital age. Smartphones are now becoming a vital part to majority of people’s everyday lives. We use them for everything we don’t seem to get a lot of time for during the day, like research or buying your weekly shopping. It can all be done in minutes with a smartphone.
Tesco’s online boss Adrian Letts knows this all too well. It has been said that the company wants to start using the digital space to its full potential by introducing multiple images, video content and some 360-degree imagery has been considered for improving online and offline shopping and make it more visually appealing for the customer.
He also stated at IGD conference last year:
“No longer is it OK to have basic images – customers are expecting so much more,”
“All I would ask you is can all you help us with the images, pictures and metadata to make sure your product gets the care and attention it deserves?” He continues, in regard of suppliers providing this advanced content. Although, there has been no official release regarding this, it has been mentioned and thought about.
Mobile Payments App
Mobile payment has been on the up and advancing quickly. With Apple pay fully released in the UK last year and Android and Samsung pay on it’s way, new competition is coming out and becoming more difficult to beat.
However, Tesco seem to have no concerns over their new in-house mobile payment app, PayQwid. A few companies, eg. Starbucks already include their own in-house payment system. Which has been proven to be very effective with both the customer and the physical store itself.
With 524 Tesco stores between London and Edinburgh are already accepting this new method of payment; Tesco’s new app is an app which customer can download on their phone and use in store when doing their everyday shopping. Unlike other payment systems such as Apple pay, you can only use the app when shopping in Tesco, but the bonus is you can spend up to £400 and automatically have your clubcard loyalty points added when you pay.
Tesco are now the first grocer in the UK to have a mobile payment app niched to their store but how hard are other retailers going to have to work to convince customer to download their app. This is where you need to decide whether you need a mobile app or a responsive mobile website.