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Tesco to trial UK’s first Virtual Grocery Store

On Monday the 5th of August retail giants Tesco launched a two-week trial of the UK’s first interactive grocery store at London’s Gatwick Airport, the supermarket believes this will become “the future of shopping” – with smartphones taking over the way we shop we can’t disagree.

Who would have thought buying grocery’s would make it to the headlines? but in this case the new innovative idea will allow people to buy products using their smart mobile phones and have them delivered to their homes after they have been on holiday.

Customers at the airport will be able to browse 80 core products including all the necessities you need when coming home from a holiday, items such as milk, bread, toilet paper and more will be displayed on a large fridge-style touch screen.

You will obviously need to download the app and register with Tesco before you can shop.

After registering, you can scan bar codes underneath these products using your Apple or smartphone, place them in a Tesco.com online shopping basket and have them arrange to be delivered to your home from when you come back off holiday – this will really help anyone who knows what it’s like arriving to an empty house after a holiday…especially with children!


After the two-week assessment Chris Gates, Director of Hitachi Consulting said:

“Tesco yesterday launched a two-week trial of the UK’s first interactive virtual grocery store at London’s Gatwick airport. The supermarket group believes could this become “the future of shopping”

“This trial is a great example of Tesco really understanding their customer’s lifestyle, and using technology to meet their customer’s needs. This is obviously backed up by strong fulfillment capabilities as well. With this move, we are also seeing QR codes starting to penetrate the retail market, which is good news for tech savvy customers and retailers alike. Ultimately, this move is all about convenience for the customer- “order when convenient, receive it when convenient,” a convenience that will both enrich the customer purchasing journey and ensure strong customer loyalty.

“Underpinned by their renowned analytics, this latest move will help Tesco further develop real insight into their customers, enhancing their ability to provide relevant and meaningful communications in a way that will generate greater customer loyalty and ultimately have a positive effect on the bottom line.”


Most people already use a smartphone to do online shopping so for more tech savvy users this trial will come as no surprise. With the growing use of smartphones (which now make up 50 per cent of all handsets in the UK) Tesco have jumped straight on board to make shopping more convenient.

As you can expect, Tesco.com will obviously hope when you are browsing their shop at the airport you may buy a few more items you did not intend on buying in the first place which will then make Tesco just a little more pocket money!

Don’t worry if you are not sure how this all works as Tesco says “staff will be on hand to help customers with the scanning and ordering process on their smartphones” – We just hope food prices are not higher due to this.

If Tesco virtual grocery store becomes successful you can expect Tesco to expand these interactive fridges to other locations in the UK, such as train stations – well with the train’s usually running late we would probably have time to do our shopping!

Rumors have also circulated that Tesco are experimenting with ideas such as virtual shopping using 3D Technology, not sure if we want to see a huge pack of toilet rolls coming out at us. All part of trying to understand their customers and how they have changed their shopping habits Tesco are on to a winner with this one.

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