Tesco’s digital journey to outside the store

In this blog, we’ll explore how the world’s second largest retailer, Tesco, has been using digital technology to stay successful in an ever growing digital world.

Cross-posted from Metaio

The digital age presents an endless set of possibilities for retailers, and Tesco has been experimenting with technology for several years now.

With aggressive digital giants like Amazon becoming huge threats to brick and mortar retailers, it’s important for Tesco to be innovative and proactive in not only how they approach the growing eCommerce market, but how they incorporate technologies in their stores.

Let’s take a look at what they’ve done so far.

First Stop: the Store

Creating an amazing in-store experience should always be one of the primary goals of any retailer.

Tesco has perfecting their stores using a wide set of technologies from cameras that detect when products need to be replenished to eliminating the checkout line with mobile checkout scanners.

Here’s what they’ve worked on so far:

Each technology is focused on a range of in-store experiences for customers and workers.

Tesco’s approach is two-fold: customer convenience and employee empowerment. This makes the in-store experience easy and seamless for customers, building loyalty.

When Tesco becomes the primary retailer for consumers, Tesco’s done it’s job.

But what about people who don’t have the time and energy to make a trip to the store? Well, Tesco has an answer for that. . . .

Second Stop: the Journey Home

Some of Tesco’s earliest innovations outside the store happened in a South Korean subway.

2011 saw Tesco’s South Korea branch, Homeplus, take their store to the subway. Specialised walls were put up for subway travelers to scan and fill virtual carts to have delivered to their homes.

This was perfect for those who travelled for work, enabling people to shop while they’re waiting for the train home.

In a similar fashion, Tesco created an interactive virtual store for their customers coming home from the airport.

This virtual kiosk allowed customers to scan the various products available and have them delivered while they’re on their way home.

These experiences are focused on one simple idea: convenience. For each of these case studies, people are headed home.

Tesco provides a convenient way to shop so customers can travel home and get what they need delivered at the same time.

Tesco can improve on this further, by bringing the store as close to home as possible. This is how:

Third Stop: Customer’s Pockets

To create an out-of-store, in-store experience, Tesco has to start with a platform. From there, Tesco can claim and expand its stake in the growing eCommerce market, while experimenting with new technologies and shopping experiences.

This platform became Tesco Discover.

Tesco Discover

The Tesco Discover app came to fruition after 9 months of research and development.

The idea was to create a publishing platform for Tesco to bring immersive, interactive experiences to customers.

Through print and GPS information, Tesco can provide contextual product information and useful tools for shoppers.

This also gives Tesco a chance to fully utilise and strengthen partnerships with other brands through promotional campaigns.

The first experience was tied to the Tesco magazine, which was fully augmented with digital content that could only be accessed through the Tesco Discover app.

Since launching in August 2013, the Tesco Discover app has had over 200,000 active users that average 16 interactions each. Most amazing of all was a peak CTR (click-through rate) of 92%.

The following campaigns have all been built to use the Tesco Discover app.

Big Night In

The “Big Night In” campaign is an ongoing product that packs a family-sized meal for families to purchase.

Tesco created an Augmented Reality experience that could only be used with Big Night In boxes.

From the box, Tesco Discover would deliver a family quiz game that brings entertainment to Tesco customers at home, creating a positive in-home experience tied to the Tesco brand.

Big Night In – Coca-Cola and the World Cup

The original Big Night In experience was such a success that Tesco brought in the Coca-Cola brand to create an Augmented Reality mobile gaming experience in association with the World Cup.

Much like the original Big Night In, the “Let’s Goooal!” game was accessible through the Big Night In packages. Let’s Gooooal was also developed to include social media interactions, encouraging users to engage with fellow Tesco fans.

Altogether, the campaign saw an average interaction time of over 5 minutes with users.

Spider-Man 2 for “Every Little Hero Helps”

Spider-Man is a hero for many. When Tesco and Marvel teamed up for the “Every Little Hero Helps” campaign, Tesco included Spider-Man 2 themed Augmented Reality experiences accessible through select Spider-Man toys, products, images, and in-store banners.

The whole campaign was such a hit that Tesco saw a 75.6% increase in sales for the 4 weeks the campaign was active.

Home Book

With an already successful Augmented Reality experience included with the original Tesco catalog and Tesco Discover app, Tesco began to branch out the AR experiences to other catalogs.

For the Home Book, a Tesco catalog specifically distributed for home furnishings and accessories, they included real-size 3D virtual models and informational links.

The Tesco Discover app helped bring the in-store experience home. When consumers have the chance to view and experience products at home, while often being provided with entertainment, they were, to put it simply, satisfied.

Tesco Discover is a versatile application that delivers everything a consumer needs to make a well-informed purchase. Not only does that increase consumer confidence in Tesco, it also simplifies the shopping experience.

Next Stop . . . .

What did the Broccoli Cam, the scanning kiosks, the shopping wall, and Tesco Discover each have in common? They were powered by Augmented Reality technology.

The visualisation, recognition, and scanning technologies each provide Tesco and its customers a convenient, seamless shopping experience, often in locations outside of the store.

Augmented Reality helps bring the store to consumers wherever they are. Not only does this allow Tesco to solidify its eCommerce presence, but it gives consumers an edge by providing information and time-saving experiences where they want it, when they want it.

Tesco’s journey from improving the in-store experience to bringing that experience home shows just one retailer’s push into the digital age.

In the future, these types of Augmented Reality-powered experiences and technologies will become the norm, and as consumers, we’ll be able to shop how we want, where we want.

Tesco has laid the foundation for the future of brick and mortar retailers, and they aren’t going anywhere.

Contact us

Interested in learning how Augmented Reality can benefit your business, drive engagement and bring value to your customers?

Then contact AustAR Labs today for a no obligation chat.

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