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Tesco connects with shoppers on their mobiles

25 Jul 2011 4:38 BST Back
Tesco connects with shoppers on their mobiles

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Tesco is experimenting with satnav for shoppers, an Android phone app that guides people around the store based on their shopping list.

It is the latest in a number of initiatives by the UK’s biggest retailer to tap into consumers’ changing buying habits and the growing role mobile plays. 

In Korea, Tesco created a virtual supermarket in an underground train station. Commuters waiting for their train could browse the virtual shelves on a digital wall, point their smartphone at a QR code and add the item to an online shopping basket on their phone. The campaign by ad agency Cheil was also a big winner at Cannes earlier this year.

Integrating virtual and real worlds not only enhances the shopping experience but it also creates more opportunities for the distribution and use of online voucher offers through companies such as Groupon. The next logical step is m-commerce, offering a mobile payment using some kind of chip and pin or swipe method. 

Tesco is also rumoured to be looking into using its ClubCard data to send personalised recommendations in real time to shoppers’ mobiles while they are in the store. 

This comes as Tesco announces a pilot scheme in four of its stores offering free WiFi service to its customers. It’s the first British supermarket to do this and if it is successful, Tesco will be looking to roll it out on a wider scale. 

Free WiFi will allow shoppers to check their Tesco ClubCard accounts and get e-vouchers. They will also be able to compare prices, read product reviews and view brand offers on Facebook

Tesco’s chief information officer told the Financial Times that consumers were already using mobile technology to check prices. “You can stand Canute-like and pretend nothing is happening… or you can say it’s happening, and I am going to help it happen.”

There are many opportunities for retailers like Tesco to target shoppers on their smartphones as they shop through QR codes, location data to unlock deals, near field communication and social media

Posted by 

Neil Turner

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