Conversion isn’t everything, says Tesco mobile experience director

Tesco is bringing customer data into store with its MyStore app

Tesco is bringing customer data into store with its MyStore app

Conversion sales rates from shoppers using mobile phones are not the be all and end all, according to Tesco mobile experience director Luke Vinogradov.

Speaking during a panel session at the BRC’s Omni-Channel Retail event this week, Vinogradov said other factors come into play and there are differences between food and non-food.

“Conversion on food is interesting,” he said. “Other things are important, for example, customer engagement and the adds to the basket and amends.

“The mobile phone punches above its weight in terms of amendments,” he said.

Shoppers, for instance, may build their main order using a big screen but they will make amends on mobile.

A the same time, Tesco also has a large proportion of mobile-only customers, Vinogradov said.

According to Vinogradov, the key in managing the mobile experience lies in migrating the 2014 online experience, where shoppers may scan products in their kitchens or sitting at a desk, into “a 1964 in-store experience”.

“Bringing data into store is an area of importance,” he said.

Tesco, for instance, is trialing an in-store mobile app called MyStore, which helps customers to plan their store visits and navigate the store, using shopping lists they have prepared at home.

Customer pull is also important, as customers lifestyles and desires have evolved, said Vinogradov.

Services such as geo-location are disruptive and a blunt instrument, he claimed. “It’s far better to present offers in a way that’s helpful,” he said.

In-store this could mean identifying an extra ingredient a shopper requires for a recipe and providing a relevant supplier coupon. Similarly, scan as you shop services and mobile apps can expose a customer’s history to enable them to make the right choices, he said.

“It’s a better way to spend time and money in a less interruptive way.”

However, geo-location could be deployed in-store for click and collect orders in future, encouraging shoppers to complete more commerce while they are in the store, Vinogradov added.