Thursday, 5 August 2010

Walkthrough of Tesco Grocery app for Nokia phones

Let's take a walk-through of our new grocery home shopping application for Nokia phones to give you a sense of what it looks like and how it works.

We start with the opening screen, which enables you to reserve a delivery slot for your order (or change it for a pending order). It also allows you to type in generic grocery product names as a shopping reminder.

You can use the shopping list as just that - a list to shop in-store (any store not just Tesco) if you wish: tap the box next to each generic item and a tick appears to show you've picked it up. Of course if you tap the product itself, the ability to search for it at Tesco is available...

Whether searching from your generic list or typing it in manually, you can find any product available in your home store. You can see prices and special offers. Items can be added straight to the basket from here. If it's already in your basket, you'll see the product in green with a quantity figure and a 'remove' button in case you wish to remove it (as in the example above).

Likewise, your favourites are available (see screen above). Favourites are all products that have been brought online or in-store using your registered Tesco Clubcard. You can see all your favourites or filter them to just those that we have an offer at this time.

If you prefer to browse through the product categories, you can find products this way too, as shown on the screen above. Products are arranged through three category steps - department, aisle and shelf (for example, "bakery" then "bread" then "brown bread").

Offers and special deals get their own screen (above), just like they do on the Tesco grocery web site. Ideal if you want some inspiration or enjoy looking at our discounts.

The basket (shown above) is fully editable, so you can add and remove items or update their quantities. The basket synchronises with the one in your account on the grocery web site, so it won't forget your changes. This is perfect for shopping "little and often" throughout the week as you build up your basket. If you already have an order pending delivery, you can switch to it, amend the basket (add /update / remove items) and save it (the system will send you an updated email that shows the new delivery list). You can mix adding to your basket on the web and on the phone throughout the week - both will keep each other up to date.

Here is the delivery slot page - you can reserve a slot at any time as you build your basket.

Checking-out is performed using an online web page especially designed for the Nokia screen. The grocery app will send you straight there for checkout. We needed to do it this way because it is the most secure and copes if your card is registered with 3D Secure services such as MasterCard SecureCode or Verified By Visa and you need to type in your 3D Secure passphrase (it keeps our PCI DSS compliance straightforward as well):

And that's it! We absolutely love this app and it's hats off to the designers and developers at Ribot, our mobile design and development partner, who have thoroughly thought through the experience for the small screen.

I was particularly inspired by Ribot's design idea that customers could use this app simply as their grocery shopping reminder list and for checking Tesco prices and offers if they wish. Customers with this app can find it useful even if they don't want to do grocery home shopping with us. It took a mind leap for me to "get' this, given that we want to promote mobile grocery home shopping. However the app does this - it just doesn't force it. Customers can use as little or as much of its functionality as they want. So whether you use the app as a glorified generic shopping list memo pad, or to check Tesco offers (these are in-store as well as online), add items to your basket as you remember them, or go for the full blown grocery shop, our little Nokia app can be there for you.

Now I think that's a design philosophy that we could do with learning more about.


  1. Hi Nick,

    That looks great, would love to try it once it's released! I've got one question though: why the decision to start with an app for Nokia Ovi store? Their platform is not known for the wealth of apps, hence you could say that Nokia users use apps less. Or was it easiest to develop for Nokia? I'm just wondering.

    Best regards,

  2. Cool was waiting for this app, really looking forward to using it. Already have the clubcard app and its great. one question i have is will this only be for nokia touch phones or non touch symbian phones as well?

  3. I must say I think it's an odd decision to go for Nokia first.

    Nokia may be the most popular phone for the 'busy mum', but all the research shows that Nokia users don't use apps or the web to anywhere near the same degree as iPhone/Android/Blackberry users.

    Also, be careful with PCI/DSS, if the checkout page is within a browser control, the app will have access to the DOM and therefore the credit card number, bringing the app into scope.

  4. Great app Nick. Unfortunately I am one of those iPhone users....whats the eta for the iPhone version?

  5. Hi - I'll explore why we went with Nokia first in my next blog post. I think you'll find it intriguing!


  6. My girlfriend and I regularly shop at Tescos, it's our supermarket of choice! We both own Palm webOS phones (me a Pre and her a Pixi) and I wondered if you plan to release this fantastic app to Palm's App Catalog? Palm were recently acquired by HP who plan to push webOS on a number of new devices including smartphones, tablets and web-connected printers - get in there early Tesco.

  7. Nick
    Are you working on a Symbian 3 app.
    After upgrading our phones Nokia N8 and E7 we have lost this very useful app from the available apps listed in the OVI store. If it is already out but not on OVI, then where can I get it from.
    Thanks Andy & Sarah

  8. Matkasse
    Nice to see your interest in Nokia mobile apps. Thanks for forwarding this blog post. I am happy to read your blog.
    Thanks Nick...


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.

Ok, rules done - now it's your go: