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Tesco takes m-commerce to air passengers

08 August 2012 - 15:21 by Mike Price

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People who fly via Gatwick airport will now be able to do their grocery shopping at Tesco without ever actually having to visit a store.

This is because the retail giant has recently implemented a virtual outlet system at this travel hub so that customers can carry out safe shopping online, using their smartphones to scan in the products they want to purchase and allowing them to plan a delivery date, so that they arrive in due course.

Essentially customers will need to download the dedicated Tesco application to their iPhone or Android device, then use this app to scan products from one of 10 screens that the firm has installed in Gatwick's North Terminal, according to the Guardian.

The idea is that once your trip is over and you are back in the UK, you will be able to take delivery of the products you ordered via safe shopping online, which will save you a visit to the supermarket when the jetlag is starting to kick in.

The screens will be up and running for the next 14 days, as part of Tesco's first trial run of the technology, so if it is a success, we may be seeing many more similar displays at airports and interchanges across the UK.

A seventh of all Tesco's e-commerce orders are currently made via smartphones, which shows just how significant this area of the market is becoming.

Of course, you could argue that the screens are really superfluous and that all shoppers need to do is use the app to search for the products they want, rather than having to involve scanning in the process.

This is certainly a decent point, although if the screens actually encourage more people to place orders on their phones, it will be a winner for Tesco.