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Tesco brings digital to convenience stores for Christmas, while IMRG predicts rising mobile sales

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Tesco is bringing augmented reality into play as it takes digital into its smaller convenience stores this Christmas.

The retailer says it has produced the first bespoke high street window display to be shown by a supermarket. All the items shown in the Regent Street Metro window can be bought on its website for collection at the store.

At the same time interactive window displays in 11 Tesco Metro stores, from Bristol to Manchester, Cardiff and Liverpool, now feature QR codes and augmented reality so that shoppers can examine products from children’s bikes to toys and homewares and buy them, for next day collection from the same store where required, without going into the store. By scanning the QR code, says Tesco, the product “comes to life on the customer’s smartphone”.

Tesco predicts that more than 30% of its online grocery customers will buy from their mobiles this Christmas, up from 20% last year.

The news comes as IMRG and Capgemini predict shoppers will spend £2.9bn through smartphones and tablet computers on UK ecommerce sites in December. That’s twice as much as the £1.45bn they spent last December.

According to IMRG, sales through mobile are currently running at 27%, with mobile traffic accounting for 38% of retail site visits. Its analysis shows that 80% of traffic and sales are through tablets and 20% via smartphones. It forecasts shoppers will spend £2.3bn over mobile and £600m via smartphone.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at etail trade association IMRG , said: “Mobile devices have fundamentally altered the way that customers engage with brands. The nature of these devices means that there is a wide range of potential engagement contexts, but the major shift really has been toward a uniquely leisurely browsing type of behaviour in front of the TV. The fact that m-retail spend is double that recorded in December 2012 demonstrates just how much this approach to shopping has taken hold this year.”

Chris Webster, VP, head of retail consulting and technology at information technology consultants Capgemini said: “If we thought that the first decade of the 21st century had turned the world of retail upside down, the second decade is likely to feel that we are inside a tumble dryer.

“The growth of m-Retail, driven first by tablet devices but now increasingly by smartphones, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mobile adoption. The use of smartphones to deliver truly personal, relevant customer experiences which reflect the location and context of what we, the customer, are doing will completely change how we interact with retailers.”

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