MobileGroove analyst Peggy Anne Salz catches up with Mark Cody, Senior Marketing Manager, Mobile at Tesco to explore the retailer’s strategy to place mobile in the centre of an omnichannel approach, bridging screens and worlds (online and in-store) to enable new levels of brand interaction and customer benefit.
Shopping knows no boundaries and the customer expectation for seamless interaction is turning up the pressure on retailers to bridge the digital and physical worlds to deliver customers increased convenience and value.
This shift was also highlighted in the new RetailWeek report titled The Consumer 2014: True consumer insight in a modern retail world. Based on a survey of 2,000 U.K. consumers and exclusive interviews with shoppers, the report provides a valuable insights around consumer attitudes and the approaches retailers should embrace to reduce friction (online and in-store) and increase loyalty.
Tesco’s digital advantage
Significantly, the report reveals that U.K. supermarket chain Tesco is well on it’s way to winning on both counts. Tesco ranks second as the brand providing the best customer experience in-store. And it ranks fourth (after Amazon, eBay and consumer electronics chain Argos) as the brand proving the best online experience.
Clearly, Tesco has a way to go before it pulls out ahead of the likes of online commerce giant Amazon, but the progress it has made in uniting online and in-store interaction in a seamless and engaging customer experience is truly impressive.
“We are using mobile, apps and other approaches to turn our stores into destinations that the customer wants to go to, not needs to go to,” Mark Cody explains. It’s about creating an environment where customers want to spend time and our role is to make it as easy and stress free as possible.
“When they come into the store we can connect them to information so they can know more about products, or just get recipes and ideas that will help them throughout their shopping journey,” he says. “We have tools to get them the information they want, so they can get around in the store quickly.”
But it’s not just about making shopping better. Tesco has also used campaigns to make it more fun.
A prime example is the augmented reality app Tesco developed to tie up with the release of Iron Man 3. The app allowed shoppers, and their children, to activate content around the movie by scanning in-store signage around the toy department.
Tesco counted in the area of “144,000 interactions with the app” — which also served as an advert for the store, the film and the merchandise — shortly after launch.
The impact of the app also extended to real-world interactions. “People came into the store to unlock content with their mobile devices, and mums also appreciated that their children were entertained, making shopping easier for everyone.”
More channels, more shopping
Tesco is also positioning itself as a one-stop shop that blends the digital and physical worlds. Consumers can buy online and pick up in store, and they can go online in-store to access what they need to make shopping more convenient.
“We are very focused on multi-channel here and we also recognise that mobile plays a central role here,” Cody says. The key is to make the complete experience— from research to rewards — complementary and seamless across mobile, apps, online and in-store media. “We recognise that what we deliver must add value to the customer journey and be optimized for the mobile devices that they have with them every step of the journey.”Written by Peggy Anne Salz, Founder of MobileGroove