One of the UK’s most recognised household names, Tesco has over 6,800 stores across the UK and is recognised as being the third largest retailer in the world. Our partnership with Tesco started in 2013 and we have since delivered three different digital solutions, helping them to fulfil their ambitious digital transformation strategy.
With consumers increasingly expecting speed, efficiency and convenience, and new competitors, such as Ocado, Amazon and HelloFresh entering the groceries market, supermarkets are facing a relatively new challenge – perfecting the ‘last mile’.
The ‘last mile’ is the final leg of a journey from the point of origin to a destination. In this case, a product being transported from a supermarket to a customer’s home.
We were approached by Tesco as they wanted to improve the ‘last mile’ of their Click & Collect service. While their customers could easily order large electrical items online, the ‘last mile’ experience wasn’t always a positive one. Customers would arrive at the store to collect their purchased item from the electrical department service desk (nearly always at the back of a huge Tesco Metro store) and would frequently find the desk unmanned as the allocated staff member was often called to help with other duties in-store.
We worked with Tesco to develop a bespoke solution that is easy-to-use and reflects the brand, fitting seamlessly into the store – an interactive self-service kiosk. Located at the entrance of the store, customers simply scan a barcode on their email receipt at the kiosk. This then notifies a staff member via a PDA, who collects the order and brings it to the customer. This not only streamlines the ‘last mile’, enhancing the customer journey and experience, but it also enables team members to work on the shop floor or in the warehouse rather than being tied to an often quiet service desk.
Providing a value-added service, the kiosk also has a ‘call to assistance’ option for shoppers looking for information, such as product knowledge, further improving the customer experience.
Following on from the success of the in-store kiosks, we then worked in partnership to develop a similar solution for Tesco’s grocery Click & Collect service at 30 of their biggest stores across the UK. The issue here was that customers had to find a parking space, grab a trolley then enter the store to collect their items, adding unnecessary time and stress to the ‘last mile’.
To make the customer journey as seamless as possible, Tesco constructed purpose-built collection points near to the entrance of the car park. Here, in the same way, customers scan a barcode at the kiosk and receive their order within a few minutes. They don’t even have to worry about carrying their own shopping as a friendly staff member is on hand to help pack their bags into the car!
A drive-thru like experience, this solution gives customers more choice in how they shop. If, for example, a desired delivery slot is already taken, customers can choose to drive to the store to collect their items in a smooth, timely manner.
Our experience in manufacturing Tesco’s Click & Collect kiosks and long-standing partnership meant we were first choice to implement a new car parking solution when the need arose.
Working with the team at Tesco, we developed a unique, hard-wearing outdoor kiosk, allowing customers to check and validate their parking, thus preventing the exploitation of car park spaces by non-customers without the need for barriers or ticket booths.
The kiosk operates is connected to our cloud-based management software, Evoke Cloud, which then integrates seamlessly with Tesco’s existing back-end parking system, linking Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and GDPR-compliant records to deliver an easy-to-use front-end experience.
Using real time number plate recognition integrated with our simple user interface, customers are asked to input their car registration number and are presented with an image of their car for validation. Customers then scan the barcode on their parking voucher and are verified, allowing them to exit the car park as normal.
This simple, user-friendly solution has multiple benefits for Tesco. It ensures customers have a positive experience at the end of their visit and it automates a resource-heavy function, avoiding barriers or ticket booths. In locations with high demand for parking, such as city centres or near railway stations, it also keeps car parks available for customer use. In addition to these operational improvements, the solution increases revenue as all car park users must complete a transaction in-store and, when the kiosks are idle, they function as digital signage, allowing Tesco to promote compelling customer offers.
Today, the parking solution is in operation at key sites across the Tesco estate, serving stores 24/7.