Tesco: thinking big
The big supermarkets’ tie to large areas of square footage in bricks and mortar is one of their most pressing challenges when it comes to adapting to the digital marketplace, but size can also be an advantage. It gives big players, such as Tesco the opportunity to try things out on a small scale before rolling out large, transformative projects. These big operators also have the resources to invest, hence InternetRetailing’s findings that their mobile websites are among the fastest loading, generally out-performing the fashion sector.
In January 2016, Tesco let it be known it was turning its back on the historical marker of success in the field – building new stores – to take on the challenges of the digital age, when CEO Dave Lewis announced the supermarket was abandoning plans to construct 49 large new stores because it “quite simply could not afford” them. Since then, its efforts in Mobile & Cross-channel developments have earned it a high ranking in IRUK’s latest research.
One of its most striking innovations in this area is its roll out to every store of its mobile payment app PayQwiq, which is available to download from the App Store and Google Play Store. PayQwiq enables customers to register their debit or credit cards on the app, then to pay for shopping (up to £250) with one scan of their phones at the checkout. Their Clubcard points are also automatically updated. Customers can also check their transaction histories and Clubcard points balances on the app.
Initially trialled in 50 stores in Edinburgh, Plymouth, London and Northern Ireland, positive user feedback led to the decision to roll it out across all the company’s stores. “PayQwiq offers customers a simple, convenient and secure way to pay that helps them save time at the checkout and collect Clubcard points with one simple scan of their smartphone,” said Mark Loch, Digital Wallet and Group Payments Strategy Director.
Another area where the supermarket is leading the way is in its click-and-collect service, which has seen a 20% increase in users since a year ago. Customers who order their groceries by 9am from 300 stores are now able to pick them up by midday. Previously they could not be picked up until 4pm. The new collection slot was prompted by growing demand for same-day collection, which currently makes up one in 10 click-and-collect orders.