So we're having an Innovation Day!
We're doing this because we really want to create a step-change for the better in the customer experience of Tesco.com's online services, and we also want the people who help us implement that step-change to also share in our success.
We're planning to host the day at a conference centre very close to Victoria station in central London, pencilled in for Wednesday 5th August 2009 (a date not locked down yet).
The day, as far as we've planned it, will consist of two segments:
The 'creative' segment will take part in the afternoon, which will have a great mix of Tesco.com customers. Together they will be encouraged to come up with all manner of exciting ideas that would transform their own experience when shopping online with Tesco.com (by whatever means). This can be anything from an up-rated web look-and-feel through to working on devices from mobile phones to games consoles and more.
The deliverable of this segment will be a series of white boards and other materials that represent those various ideas, and we say goodbye to these invitees (with a nice 'thank you' goodie-bag). We'll then sift through the most interesting, promising, and popular ideas.
Then the evening comes and the 'technical' segment begins. The invitees this time are IT developers and creative types who will be able take on these ideas and understand how they can use the Tesco.com API to create applications that satisfy those ideas. The developers can be anyone from enthusiastic individuals through to software development houses, but they all share one goal - to build an application so good that they make money from customers using it.
The way thay can gain income is because, as long as their finished application meets an essential set of quality and support thresholds, they will gain a rare access to our affiliates network which pays for every new customer that joins Tesco.com and starts ordering through their application. That's not just the 'winning idea', but every idea that passes our threshold.
We'll make the evening a fun geek-fest complete with pizza and more, and I'll be inviting a mix of all kinds of developers who can code websites, flash/silverlight apps, mobile phones, or set-top boxes, or whatever!
Now we're still in the early days of 'designing' this event, but excitement has carried right through to the main board of Tesco - and you can expect at least one senior director to be present at the event. As time passes I'll put some more details here on this blog. In the meantime if you think you would like to be part of the event - whether a customer of Tesco.com, a creative individual who can visualise something new, or a teccie who would like to rustle up an application, then keep monitoring this blog.
From late-June you'll be able to apply for an invitation through a web site, bearing in mind that places will be limited. We're looking to invite 150 in the afternoon and 150 in the evening.
If you would like to be a sponsor of, and/or supplier to this event then get in touch with me via my email address (see this blog's "about" panel) - we have a great venue but will welcome all kinds of help in return for your stand, banner, or other input! Personally I value very much customers and developers who take time out from their lives to spend time talking with us, and I would love their goodie-bags to have some great stuff to take away...
So that's it for now: a Tesco.com Innovation Day where we invite customers, creatives and developers to take part in achieving a 'step-change' in the customer experience, pencilled in for Wednesday 5th August at a conference centre close to Victoria station in London.
Fancy being part of it? More news soon...