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Tesco’s mobile scanning feature is really, really smart

tesco scan barcode

I think I’m right in saying that Tesco is the second largest supermarket chain on the planet just before the Wal-Mart group of companies. In the UK alone, Tesco employs almost 300,000 people working across over 2,500 stores. It’s a veritable giant.

Beyond a quick foray into a rather featureless (yet highly popular) Clubcard app, the company has only recently got stuck into the mobile marketplace, leaving much of the initial innovation to market minnow, Ocado.

With Ocado recently reporting almost 10% of revenues coming from customers using their iPhone (and now Android) app, it was right that Tesco finally jumped aboard the mobile train.

You’ve been able to order food with the Tesco app for a good few months now, but this week saw the introduction of a rather different philosophy as defined in the graphic above. With the recent modification, you can now scan any grocery item with your iPhone and boom…. it will be automatically added to your Tesco Online shopping basket. You can — if you like — purchase it immediately. But I think most people will use it in a fire-and-forget manner, scanning stuff while they remember and coming back to their basket later via mobile or desktop.

This is the kind of innovation I want to see in the marketplace and I am delighted to see Tesco taking a clear lead.

Good work Tesco. Pick up the app from the iTunes App Store by searching ‘tesco groceries‘.

Now, if you’d like to see how the process works, here’s a helpful infographic (good thinking, Tesco).

And here’s a video of the scanning feature working:

12 COMMENTS

  1. Ah my focus is on the fact it’s a much wider brand offering the facility —
    Ocado is still very much perceived as a niche, right?

  2. Ewan,

    you haven’t mentioned the really interesting thing about the Tesco app… what other platform do they support?

    Not Android, not Blackberry…

    Nokia.

    Tesco mobile app is available for iPhone and Symbian (v5 I think). Very interesting against a media backdrop of “Nokia isn’t worth developing for and no-one does it”.

    Of course, I find this out after I’ve swapped my N97 mini for an HTC Android handset πŸ˜‰

  3. Ewan,

    you haven’t mentioned the really interesting thing about the Tesco app… what other platform do they support?

    Not Android, not Blackberry…

    Nokia.

    Tesco mobile app is available for iPhone and Symbian (v5 I think). Very interesting against a media backdrop of “Nokia isn’t worth developing for and no-one does it”.

    Of course, I find this out after I’ve swapped my N97 mini for an HTC Android handset πŸ˜‰

  4. Ewan,

    you haven’t mentioned the really interesting thing about the Tesco app… what other platform do they support?

    Not Android, not Blackberry…

    Nokia.

    Tesco mobile app is available for iPhone and Symbian (v5 I think). Very interesting against a media backdrop of “Nokia isn’t worth developing for and no-one does it”.

    Of course, I find this out after I’ve swapped my N97 mini for an HTC Android handset πŸ˜‰

  5. It’s MIR!

    (through gritted teeth) Must. Not. Mention. Nokia. In. Good. Light. Must. Keep. Conveying. The. Message. That. Nokia/Symbian. Are. Crap. Stupid. Failing. And. Doomed. Otherwise. MIR. Will. Look. Stupid. (Stupid, Stupid, Stupid).

  6. The reality is that Nokia isn’t as well supported in apps as other platforms… Ewan just makes that point more directly than some do!

    To see a mainstream High St organisation support Nokia alongside iPhone was a shock to me.

    However Ewan, Alex has a point, let’s have a good news Nokia story on MIR!!!

  7. There is also a tesco barcode shopping application for blackberry now, equally clever!

    I was surprised to find it today when on app world – basket.

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