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Tesco m-commerce app gets barcode scanning feature

27 October 2010 - 19:20 by Sarah Collinson

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The iPhone edition of Tesco's Groceries application is getting updated with a new service that will allow customers to scan the barcodes of products and then add them automatically to their online order.

The idea behind the scanner is that customers will be able to quickly update their online shopping basket without having to go to the trouble of searching through the thousands of items for the one they want. Parents and professionals who have little time on their hands are the key demographics for this barcode scanning function, according to Tesco.

The good thing about the app is that Tesco envisages people heading to friends houses, trying a food item, scanning the barcode if they like it and then ordering some for themselves, all in the blink of an eye.

Tesco's e-commerce chief executive, Laura Wade-Gery, told the Guardian that this new feature would augment the app's abilities to provide convenient, safe shopping online to people who are pushed for time. She pointed out that it would allow forgetful people to scan items without having to write down the name and have them instantly added to their shopping cart.

Over one million of Tesco's various iPhone applications have been downloaded already and close to half that figure has been made up of downloads for the Groceries app, which launched last month.

Early tests suggest that the new barcode scanning feature is up and running already, with positive responses from those in the media who have had a chance to scan items.

You can use the scanner to carry out safe shopping online from your iPhone provided the item you are attempting to buy is stocked by Tesco and of a size which will fit in the firm's fleet of delivery vans. Tesco is apparently planning to work around this problem by enabling delivery using the Tesco Direct service in the coming weeks.