With brands looking for new and innovative ways to appeal to their core market and get those must-have sales, many are turning to the digital arena. Having an online store is a basic requirement these days with shoppers expecting that kind of service as standard, but Tesco has taken digital even further—by trialling a virtual store at Gatwick airport.
The brand hopes that this interactive grocery store will encourage customers to shop with their smartphones, with people being able to browse through a huge range of products on large billboards or virtual “fridges”, before scanning the desired barcode with their smartphones. The product gets added to their online basket, they arrange a date for home delivery and voila, they’ll have shopping when they get back from their trip.
The trial was launched on August 6th and is set to run until the 19th, and builds on Tesco’s opening of their first ever virtual store in South Korea last year. The South Korean store targeted commuters, letting them shop in subways and at bus stops, with the Gatwick store building on this concept to offer virtual shopping to long-distance travellers.
It’s a fantastic way to do business and taps into people’s ever-growing reliance on smartphones, with the technology just showing how far it can go. People spend huge amounts of cash via their phones and this is just the latest way retailers can capitalise on that, with Tesco saying that it isn’t just about moving customers to another channel but about attracting new ones—it’s a whole new way of giving people access to the brand, and being such a novel way of shopping could well have the desired results.
It’s a great example of marketing teams tapping into the public consciousness, and whilst Tesco is saying it’s only a trial it’ll be interesting to see if they add to the concept to offer even more virtual outlets in the future.