Will ‘open innovation’ take Tesco’s multichannel success to the next level?

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‘Tesco Labs’ is to be headed by Nick Lansley, former head of R&D of Tesco who joined the company in 1987, and is one of the company’s digital founding fathers. Mr. Lansley has in the past been working on Tesco’s m-commerce development. Mr. Lansley will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Global E-Commerce Summit in Barcelona. He will shed light on Tesco’s new Innovation Lab and how it will help to take consumer centric, multichannel innovation to the next level.

‘Multi-channel shopping is becoming the norm in UK retail, and is driving a fundamental shift in the way UK consumers shop’, states the introduction to a PwC research report analyzing the evolution of shopping behavior in the UK. Without a doubt, the UK is a world leader when it comes to multichannel shopping – both in terms of consumer behavior as in terms of retailers quickly adapting their offer to the increasing digitalization (and mobilization) of the purchase path.

Multichannel as a necessity
For the British supermarket giant Tesco, also the country’s largest retailer, keeping up with the evolving retail landscape is also a necessity: sales in large format stores have been falling throughout the past years, and customers are increasingly spending money online. Tesco.com, officially launched in 2000, is already the UK’s largest online retailer, processing more than 50,000 orders per week. Tesco has always been abreast of latest trends, not hesitating to try out out-of-the-box approaches such as an interactive virtual store at Gatwick airport in 2012. It’s priority is to continue offering the consumer a seamless shopping experience and excellent service throughout his entire purchase journey- no matter which devices and channels are involved.

Charge cuts and innovation
The year 2014 has already known two important milestones towards Tesco’s enhanced multichannel success: Tesco announced price cuts to its online shopping charges and the complete drop of charges for click and collect services throughout the UK. Even more importantly, Tesco opened up a brand new innovation ‘lab’ in London in January in order to tap the expertise of the British startup- and SME community. The new lab is to gather ideas and technical inspiration from startups and SMEs and use them to solve challenges and better serve the new generation of omnichannel customers. This new strategy of ‘open innovation’ is supposed to allow Tesco to bundle experience and market insight in order to identify the best ideas and put them into practice.

Nick Lansley
“Tesco Labs” is to be headed by Nick Lansley, former head of R&D of Tesco who joined the company in 1987, and is one of the company’s digital founding fathers. Mr. Lansley has in the past been working on Tesco’s m-commerce development. In 2011, Mr. Lansley had shared his expertise on mobile grocery shopping speaking at several European conferences.

In his presentation titled Turning Mobile Commerce into a Social Experience, Mr. Lansley described the perfect mobile shopping experience as effortless, motivating customers to replace their long-and-labored shopping habits with little-and-often retail excursions. In order to better understand the customers, Mr. Lansley categorized them in three groups of mobile grocery shoppers: ‘Whereas the “hunters” have a very specific idea of which product they seek and readily browse through stores to find the best offer, the “gatherers” only have a loose plan of what to shop and where to get it. This group wanders mobile shops and might be incentivised to buy other products as well. The “groundhogs” rarely have a plan of what exactly to buy, instead relying on their previous order. They lack the patience to navigate the store. In order to target hunters and gatherers, retailers can make use of a variety of communication measures. This group uses available information to grasp new ideas and to perform a purchase.’

Mr Lansley will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Global E-Commerce Summit in Barcelona, taking place from June 16-18th 2014. As a Company Member or Business Partner from Ecommerce Europe you get free entrance for this inspiring, three day event. Register now

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