Tesco shows the way in the, er, Internet of Retail

Written by on February 15, 2016 in Opinion with 0 Comments

TescoTelcos can learn a lot from the retail environment and particularly from supermarket giants like Tesco. This is especially true in the analytics arena, where their Club Card is seen as a stand-out example of how to ‘do’ loyalty. It is, for instance, extraordinary to think that of the millions of Tesco customers that have a Club Card only six received exactly the same offers and deals in a year. That is personalisation.

It is also interesting to watch, as a customer, how the system work. For instance, we had never bought dog food from Tesco and suddenly we get an offer for 50 percent off a bag of dog food, valid for three months. Tesco does not know that we are dog owners and yet the profile of our weekly shop must make them fairly certain that we are, and clearly we do not currently buy our dog food from them. Thus the offer.

The Internet of Retail was a recent conference in the UK, and the CTO of Tesco was interviewed by Telecom TV about what they are doing with the Internet of Things.

The first interesting thing is, of course, the name of the event. Whilst we in the digital world talk about the Internet of Things (to the extent we now just use the abbreviation, the IoT) it is, as we predicted in 2014, dissolving into verticals. Alongside the Internet of Retail, there will quickly be conferences (and papers and webinars and articles) about the Internet of Building, the Internet of Washing, the Internet of Healthcare, the Internet of …. You get the point.

This is, of course, great news for those industries (and conference companies), who can now see futures much sunnier than before. Even death will, according to our guest Matthew Griffin, be optional.

This is also an opportunity and a challenge for our vendor friends. Many are developing IoT solutions. This is a good thing. But they are now faced with the dilemma of who to sell them to. Of course, it makes sense to sell them to their telco clients, but suddenly there is the prospect of everyone from BMW to Tesco to national health services and Governments becoming prospective clients. This is also a good thing. But setting up just one extra business unit for one new vertical is a tall order and it will be brave vendors who try and capture all the opportunities in all the verticals. At least two vendors have disappeared recently because of having too many disparate opportunities and not deep enough pockets or management.

That is something to ponder. And while you are doing so, the short video interview with Tesco and how they are using the Internet of Retail (they have been for years) to ‘enrich the customer experience’ is worth a listen. As you might predict the trick is not collecting the data but using it properly.

Tags: , , ,

About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.