I'm delighted to tell you that our first iPhone application has just gone live in Apple's iTunes App Store.
The Tesco Store and Product Finder not only helps you to locate your nearest UK Tesco store (of any size from Express to Extra) but also will help you find any grocery product in that store by describing its aisle and shelf.
The application is free and available worldwide although it only works for UK stores and only with grocery products (rather than non-food items) at the moment.
Got an iPhone? Great: either:
- Go to the computer you use to sync your iPhone/iPod Touch with iTunes, then click this link (or paste to your web browser): http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=330818669&mt=8, or
- Start iTunes, go the the 'iTunes Store' and search for the word 'Tesco' in the top-right corner of the iTunes application, or
- On your iPhone (or iPod Touch) start 'App Store', touch Search and search for 'Tesco'. You'll get "Tesco.com R&D Team" and "Tesco Finder" results - select either to reach the Tesco Finder application.
This application is the first piece of innovation that has come from Tesco.com's R&D-run IT Innovation Club, where we provide the resources, time, and stamp of approval for our staff to quickly create innovation for our customers outside of our standard production work schedule.
The Tesco Store and Product Finder was designed and built by Tom Courthold who works in Tesco.com's IT UI team; the data was - and is - sourced by Mike Brearley who now works in our IT branch dev team, with backend API server programming, a spot of iPhone programming (and support for the service & application) by myself.
Going forwards we'll be enhancing the application to offer:
- The ability for a customer to search for any grocery product and then find out the nearest stores that stock it.
- A link to a home shopping customer's favourites list so they can find these products in any Tesco store that stocks them.
- Work with the business to extend the range beyond groceries to include more non-food items such as electricals, household items and more.
Enjoy the application, and please feedback any ideas and issues to me.
Here is a set of walk-through screen shots for the Tesco Store and Product Finder. If you are a journalist and would like to use any of these images, you can - and for free without any further permission. Just click the images to get full-sized versions. The exception to this is the first screen-shot (surrounded in blue) - which consists of an excellent photograph from Flickr contributor 'LoopZilla' which has been cleared for our use (and yours) as long as you assert that he is the owner of the photo and that you link to the original at:
The opening screen starting the application on your iPhone:
The application uses iPhone's location service to detect where you are, then connects to our server to find out your nearest stores. Touch the circular arrow to get the latest location update:
Here we've touched a store name above, which causes the application to display information about the store, including its customer facilities. Note that you can bookmark the store so you can find it quickly using the 'Bookmarks' button infuture if you visit it regularly. "View Directions" starts the iPhone's Map application to help get you to the store:
Touch 'Find products in this store' above and you get to the following screen. Tap the 'search box' to make the keyboard appear, and type a product to find, followed by the 'Search' button:
The application asks our server for the product and location list based on your search:
Back comes the product list (up to 20 products) matching your search. If we have photos of any of these products, they will be shown alongside the product:
Now touch the desired product to bring up its location details, alongside a bigger image of the product - and its full location information. Tap the big question mark for extended help.