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Tesco unpacks automated interconnected shopping via new mobile integration

Supermarket chain Tesco has teamed up with mobile application IFTTT to automatically update shoppers’ virtual carts by prompting them to sign up for various triggers – such as product price changes – to add the appropriate item when the specified parameters are met.

Per a blog post published by Tesco Labs, the chain is attempting to simplify consumers’ shopping experiences by enabling them to auto-adjust their baskets based on price changes and item availability. As connected home devices continue their proliferation, Tesco is experimenting with new platforms to better serve customers and provide competitive solutions that will prompt more app users to complete a purchase.

“IFTTT is a great idea and use of technology to help tailor to individual needs,” said Jon Squire, founder and CEO of CardFree. “Kudos to Tesco for launching this feature.”

Auto-adjusted shopping
Tesco has developed its own channel on IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That. The platform enables users to connect their favorite apps to each other, providing more streamlined experiences ranging from shopping to maintaining health.

Users can also update several social network accounts at the same time. If an individual changes his Facebook profile picture, he can then swap out his Twitter profile photo as well.

Tesco is taking advantage of this service by allowing shoppers to leverage two triggers and one action. Consumers will be able to trigger any action on IFTTT if a Tesco product goes below a particular price or an item changes.

For example, IFTTT users can tell the app to add salmon to their mobile shopping carts if its price falls, or indicate they would like burgers added to their basket if the weather is warm the following day.

Consumers can also set the app to regularly replenish their carts with staple grocery items, by way of adding a trigger that will place the desired product – such as eggs – into their basket each week.

To leverage the service, individuals must sign up for an IFTTT account and add the Tesco channel. During the set-up process, users will also have to sign into their existing Tesco Groceries account to verify their status.

Time-saving experiences
With the majority of consumers feeling stressed on time, supermarket chains that attempt to ameliorate these feelings and roll out time-saving solutions will likely grab the largest portion of shoppers’ wallets – and loyalty.

If consumers know they will be able to rely on the IFTTT app to replenish their shopping carts each week and purchase groceries via smartphones, the likelihood of them shopping with Tesco will undoubtedly spike.

The supermarket chain has been introducing a slew of digital-first commerce initiatives, proving its dedication to testing out new technologies and adapting to its customers’ increasingly mobile shopping behavior.

Tesco is currently rolling out its own branded mobile payments app, which is likely to benefit from enhanced loyalty tie-ins, but may struggle as a standalone offering (see story).

Meanwhile, over the summer, the supermarket brand teamed up with Unilever’s Magnum brand to celebrate the start of warmer weather by bringing beacon-enabled offers and discounts to shoppers via mobile (see story).

Ultimately, the IFTTT collaboration is likely to throw even more favor toward Tesco, especially among customers too busy to monitor price or product changes on their own time.

“It will definitely make some customers more likely to shop there but as with any new feature that becomes popular, Tesco will need to continue to differentiate and will need to do so on non-price based dimensions for greater brand loyalty,” Mr. Squire said. “In any case, this is all good news for the consumer.”