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Mark Cody, Senior Marketing Manager – Mobile at Tesco, is speaking at the Internet Retailing Expo (IRX) in March. Ahead of the event he spoke to Internet Retailing about mobile trends, innovations at Tesco and what delegates will learn from his presentation.

What are the key trends in mobile at the moment?

There are lots of trends coming through into 2014 in the mobile arena. Location, and especially, iBeacons offer a fascinating new technology which will enable retailers to game change the experience for customers. It will be interesting to see how retailers will offer frictionless ways to engage with customers not just in terms of payments but from a marketing and service perspective as well. One Tesco app that showcases where engagement is going in terms of location and privacy is the app from Tesco-owned coffee chain Harris+Hoole. It allows customers to set up a profile which includes their image, details of their perfect coffee (size, espresso shots, milk type, temperature) and their loyalty card so when they check into the shop their profile picture and coffee preference will appear on the till so that the barrister can greet them by name and ask if they want to order their favourite coffee. “It’s a valid exchange which provides value back to the customer,” says Mark Cody.

What new innovations are there for using mobile to drive people to spend more money through all retail channels?

Mobile is not just about getting customers to spend more money. It’s more of an engagement channel. The mobile team at Tesco is continually testing and innovating with mobile and how it can be used to glue multichannel retailing together. The Tesco magazine, for example, incorporates Augmented Reality technology (AR) so that readers can access more information than is available on the page i.e. reading a recipe and cooking along at home. Incorporating AR into the magazine has resulted in customers engaging with it for an extra 3 minutes.

What are the latest innovations at Tesco? Experiments with AR have expanded to shop windows with 5 stores having augmented window displays for Christmas. Through these, customers can access further information about the toys on display and view videos of them in action, as well as being able to make a purchase. A further 6 stores have had their windows augmented with QR codes which link through to the product pages of the 10 or 12 products on display. This will allow Tesco to gain further insight into customer engagement. “We are exploring a number of innovative ways in which to help customers in-store which are in pilot phase now,” says Mark Cody. He is hoping to be able to share some of these in more detail with delegates at IRX.

How much will have changed by IR Expo in March?

Multichannel is a big move forward for Tesco as a business and mobile plays quite a significant role in that. It has a team dedicated to experimenting and innovating with

mobile and how it can be used by the 1.2 million customers registered to use Wi-Fi in Tesco stores. Currently that’s through AR and QR as well as QR codes on packs to give customers further information on the food’s provenance but it is also looking at how to digitise the Clubcard and paper coupons. “We’re working on a number of interesting initiatives,” says Cody and he’s hoping to share the impact those are having on customers during his presentation at IRX, along with thoughts on where mobile may go in the future. He comments: “IRX gives us a great opportunity to share what we’ve been doing”.

Mark Cody is speaking in the Mobile & Mobility conference at Internet Retailing Expo on Thursday 27 March. See the programme for more details and register at

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