Tesco puts ‘experience’ at heart of its multichannel mission as it looks to push further beyond food retail
Tesco is on a “multichannel mission” which will see it position itself as an experience-centric brand rather than a food retailer in the eyes of its customers, according to its head of open innovation Nick Lansley.
Speaking at IAB Mobile Engage today, for which The Drum is media partner, Lansley said the supermarket giant has made serious strides towards its goal of becoming a brand of “experience”. He cited its acquisition of restaurant chain Giraffe last year, the launch of its clothing brand and various other digital initiatives including its investment in its own branded devices such as the Hudl, which has now sold over 500,000 units.
“We are investing in the technology to join it all up so we act as one Tesco, but still have each of the lovely channels that give unique experiences – rather than a homogeneous experience. It’s a pretty exciting time to be at Tesco.”
Later he added: “We also want to invest in loyalty – we have Clubcard but we want to push past that – to make us not just a food retailer – but thought of for loads of other stuff."
More focus will also go to creating localised experiences for customers via its Express stores. “We need to act as one Tesco, we need to ensure we gel everything together so the experience is great wherever the touch point. We also want to tailor convenience stores to local customers – it’s about making Tesco part of the community – not just a homogenous mix,” he said.
Lansley outlined five themes that have “inspired” it to make changes to meet customers changing demands:
1. Collaborate: "Now you will have heard that before, but Tesco never knew the answer to what it now knows, in other words if you don’t know the answer to something there may be a member of your staff somewhere – if it’s on the shop floor – that does. We use an app called Yama that means we can often get feedback from colleagues on things and that makes a real different."
2. Co-creation: "Now we get customers involved very early on in development process, and it really makes them feel part of the journey."
3. Create experiences: “This is how we are trying to shape Tesco – to create a great experience as soon as you walk in, and we are taking this to digital realm too.”
4. Culture: "We are 350,00 people in the UK, that’s a hard size to be innovative, but we do it by having thing like hackathons, with leadership team as judges that makes staff feel they can actually be seen by the leadership team."
5. Community: "We have 3,000 registered developers using the T4T grocery API. We also have Opens Innovation conversations with start-ups and SMEs through Tesco – this is like a pool of wisdom which we draw from regularly."