Friday, 24 April 2009

Spring Innovation

So, Easter (with its attendant excuse for a nice vacation) has come and gone, the sun is shining here at HQ in Welwyn Garden City, and we're all getting exciting about launching an innovative new and improved Tesco Wine site in the coming days.

Innovation is a word that is thrown around a lot these days. For me, in the context of our wine and grocery service, its meaning is simple: Making it easy, convenient, price competitive (and fun) for customers to shop groceries and wine with us such that we earn their lifetime loyalty.

Shopping for groceries is the strangest form of e-commerce that the internet offers. Take a look at the reasons you and I shop in general on the web:
  1. Aspirational - a product or service I am looking forward to owning, using or experiencing.
  2. Infrequent, occasional purchasing - aspirational products are 'wants' not 'needs'.
  3. A single item, or at least a low quantity of that item. So, a book; a DVD; a software application (or that thing you now regret bidding for on eBay).
Contrast this to grocery shopping online:
  1. Non-Aspirational products (well can you get excited about buying baked beans?!)
  2. Frequent, regular purchasing (usually once a fortnight for me).
  3. Large quantities - I often put upwards of 5o items in my basket.
So lets see - compared to the excitement of buying a great book or enjoying the latest music when I can afford it, grocery shopping is where I have to buy loads of stuff - regularly and frequently - and not be excited about much of it...

Perhaps you now glimpse the challenge, and why the business makes sure I concentrate a lot of R&D effort on our grocery operation, whether up front for the customer or behind the scenes with our picking and delivery staff. It's why I label the word 'innovation' as: Easy, Convenient, Price-Competitve, Fun, Earning Lifetime Loyalty.

We don't make it easy on ourselves, do we, given my description of the nature of grocery home shopping? But getting this right is so important that everyone in the Tesco HQ building is working to deliver the new wine application shortly and the new grocery application over the coming months.

And since we know what it will do for the customer experience, none of us can wait to launch them!

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As this blog grows in readership - and because it carries the Tesco brand - I have had to become more careful about the sort of comments that are acceptable. The good news is that I'm a champion of free speech so please be as praising or as critical as you wish! The only comments I DON'T allow through are:

1. Comments which criticise an individual other than myself, or are critical of an organisation other than Tesco. This is simply because they cannot defend themselves so is unfair and possibly libellous. Comments about some aspect of Tesco being better/worse than another equivalent organisation are allowed as long as you start by saying "in my personal opinion.." or "I think that...". ... followed by a "...because.." and some reasoned argument.

2. Comments which are totally unrelated to the context of the original article. If I have written about a mobile app and you start complaining about the price of potatoes then your comment isn't going stay for long!

3. Advertising / web links / spam.

4. Insulting / obscene messages.

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