The world is changing at an incredible pace. It took over 12 years for TV to reach 50 million people, but a successful app can now do it in a matter of days.
The world is changing at an incredible pace. It took over 12 years for TV to reach 50 million people, but a successful app can now do it in a matter of days. Hudl springs to mind - in three days, it was the fastest selling tablet launch we have ever seen at Tesco.
We’ve talked a lot about how the world of retail is changing, with multichannel growth a key part of our business and strategy for the future. Tesco Labs, a new team we’ve created, has an important part to play in the future of the company as we stay ahead of the curve, working on new technologies and customer experiences. We’re made up of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, designers and developers who are all focused on identifying future trends in retail that make life easier for customers and colleagues.
The purpose of an innovation lab is to experiment with innovative ideas and concepts, and keep an eye on the development of future trends. Wearable tech is a great example of this. It’s still very new, but Labs have already developed a concept app for Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Smart watch.
We think wearables will be used in more contextual situations, and have developed the app accordingly. For example, if you’re at home and see that you’ve run out of milk, you can use Glass to scan the product barcode and add it to your online grocery basket for home delivery. We think it’s unlikely that customers will do their entire online grocery shop using wearable tech because it’s primarily been designed for ‘micro interactions’, so we don’t think it will replace the smartphone or tablet.
Another innovation that could soon become part of everyday life is the trend for the ‘Internet of Things.’ This enables seemingly ordinary devices in your home (such as your fridge, oven or microwave) to connect with each other so they can tell you when you’re running out of certain products and order it online.
While it seems very futuristic, we believe that this kind of technology could be as liberating as the invention of the internet and we’re already working on bringing that to life for customers. 3D printing is another area we’re looking at, as we can see real benefits for customers. Imagine being able to print an edible cake topper, or a spare car part that you need?
So, what does the future of retail look like? Well, our multichannel approach is already helping customers shop whenever, however and whenever they need to. In the future, the shopping experience will become even more seamless, convenient and effortless. Tesco Labs are already working on turning that vision into a reality for millions of our customers.
For more information about Tesco Labs, visit their new blog www.tescolabs.com.
- Mike McNamara is CIO at Tesco. This blog originally appeared on Tesco’s Talking Shop blog.