retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Marketing reports that in the UK, Tesco is using an 'If This Then That' approach to retailing, "allowing technically-minded customers to set up automatic grocery orders on tesco.com."

According to the story, the technology works "by connecting separate platforms, such as a user’s account with Tesco.com and their Nike+ running app. An action on one account can automatically trigger a reaction on the other.

"As an example, the service lets customers order burgers from Tesco.com when the weather’s sunny, reward themselves with a beer order if they’ve completed a run, or schedule a weekly order of milk."

These developments, the story says, are courtesy of Tesco Labs, "the supermarket’s innovation arm. And it suggests Tesco’s thinking about a more open future, where consumers can do their Tesco shopping in many places other than the Tesco website."
KC's View:
Tesco's been facing a lot of problems in recent years, and these days it is being run by a guy who isn't a retailer by trade ... and maybe that's the combination necessary to get a company to be open to trying new stuff like this.

The essential argument is that most shopping is dull and repetitive, and that frictionless, intuitive alternatives simply make a lot of sense. It helps that these alternatives also position Tesco to better compete with Amazon's various initiatives.