Tesco trialling two new in-store technologies

The UK's largest retailer Tesco is this week trialling two new in-store technologies that CIO Mike McNamara says can "change shopping for the better".

Firstly, electronic shelf edge labels which have been in operation in the company's Letchworth Express store are now set to be rolled out to its Enfield superstore.

Having used them in other markets, such as Hungary, Tesco is confident that it has found the right use of this in-store solution and thinks that wider usage of the electronic pricing will free up colleagues' time to better serve customers.

Writing on the Talking Shop Tesco blog, McNamara said that, although electronic labelling isn't new itself, the business has taken its time to find the right technology and opted for the same e-ink technology that is used in e-book readers.

Highlighting the benefits, he added: "With electronic labels, pricing information can be controlled from a central system and prices are changed instantly. That means that the price on the shelf will always be the same as the price at the till."

Another innovation at Tesco this week sees the roll out of its first ever app designed specifically for staff, which can be used on the retailer's own hudl device and other tablets and smartphones. The app provides colleagues with product availability information, as well as information on the exact location of all products in store.

McNamara said: "When the right technology is applied in the right way, it can change the way we work and the way we shop – it wasn’t so long ago that our colleagues were punching prices into tills and using pricing guns to label every product.

"Today we scan barcodes, making the checkout process much faster and saving customer’s precious time. Our job in the Innovation Team is to spot those new technologies with the potential to change shopping for the better and apply them in a way that make our colleagues’ and customers’ lives easier."

Read more on electronic shelf labelling from Planet Retail's senior retail technology analyst, Sarah Herrlein.