Passport Control, Security, Tesco Shop...
Tesco has launched the UK’s first interactive virtual grocery store in the Departure Lounge in the North Terminal at London’s Gatwick’s Airport. The move builds on Tesco’s launch of the world’s first virtual store in S. Korea last year, which enabled commuters to shop in subways and at bus stops by pointing their mobile phones at billboards. Tesco is now trialing the concept for the first time in the UK, but this time using interactive digital displays.
The Gatwick virtual store will allow passengers passing through the North Terminal to combine browsing, as they would in a physical store, with the convenience of an online grocery shop and home delivery.
Customers will be able to view a range of everyday products by scrolling through the moving screens on large virtual fridges. By scanning the barcodes with their smartphones using the Tesco shopping app for iPhone and Android, they can add their chosen products to their online baskets, book a home delivery slot and check out. Their shopping will then be delivered in the time slot of their choosing, which they can book for up to three weeks in advance.
Around 30,000 people depart from Gatwick’s North Terminal each day and each has an average of 70 minutes of downtime while waiting for flights. The virtual store opened for business yesterday and will remain open during the two busiest weeks of the year, up until 19 August. Staff will be on hand to guide customers through the barcode scanning and ordering process on their smartphones.
“Our business in Korea is teaching us a lot about how customers and technology are transforming shopping,” says Tesco internet retailing director, Ken Towle. “It gives us a unique window into the future and the chance to try out exciting new concepts. The virtual store blends clicks and bricks, bringing together our love of browsing with the convenience of online. It’s a chance to showcase what we can do to the 30,000 people a day who will depart from Gatwick’s North Terminal, many of whom will have a genuine need to fill their fridges when they get home, and we’re looking forward to hearing what they think.”
There's a video of the virtual store in action here.