Tesco and Waitrose: Mobile is now a standard channel

Supermarkets have begun to move beyond the initial era of mobile development, and are seeking to improve integration across all channels and into their stores, according to Tesco and Waitrose.


Supermarkets are moving to a 'post-mobile' era and focusing on improving customer experience across a variety of platforms whether shopping online or in-store, according to Tesco and Waitrose.

Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the Open Mobile Summit in London on Monday, Luke Vinogradov, mobile experience director at Tesco, said that the firm's mobile development is now being incorporated into wider digital plans as it aims to integrate customers' shopping experience across all channels and platforms.

“We are in almost a post-mobile era...ultimately it is not just about this screen or that screen, or any screen on its own, as there are stores out there as well. So we are interested in taking a much more structured and integrated approach to meet the customer need,” he said. "We are increasingly starting to think about how customers are using services in-store and experimenting with that."

Robin Phillips, director of ecommerce at Waitrose, said that leveraging data across multiple platforms will allow for more personalised services that can be combined with in-store technologies to target customers. 

The company is looking at the potential of linking its MyWaitrose app with Apple’s iBeacon 'location awareness' technology to detect a customer's presence a when arriving at a supermarket. "So if you are in a store, you could be alerted to a particular offer because we know that you usually have it through MyWaitrose.”

He added that mobile and tablets have quickly become standard channels for purchasing goods, with an expectation that they will overtake desktop traffic in the next six months. Like Tesco, it has now incoporated its mobile development teams - which were previously separate units - into parts of the wider business to support more sophisticated customer initiatives.

“The mobile revolution has long passed, and it is now about how we integrate online and mobile into the brand experience, and therefore the organisation and the store footprint,” he said.

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