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Tesco rolls out virtual technology to boost multichannel offering

Tesco is rolling out a range of virtual technologies for customers to use in-store, as part of its multichannel drive.

The retailer is introducing a virtual mirror into three of its stores, which allows customers to try on clothes virtually. It is also rolling out a giant 80 inch touchscreen for children to browse toys in its Cheshunt branch.

The "Endless Aisle" technology allows customers to order by printing a ticket for Click and Collect or by using their mobiles. Some products can be rotated for a 360 degree view and all come with full descriptions.

CIO Mike McNamara said: "These are some of the technologies that are going to transform retail over the next few years."

The plans follow the roll-out of a virtual grocery store at Gatwick Airport, which offers customers instant touchscreen access to online and mobile ordering.

In a video blog, McNamara also demonstrated a virtual merchandising tool, which allows the company to build a 3D representation of each store to pack virtual products onto virtual shelves.

“You can move different combinations around to see what they look like, to make sure it’s easy for our customers to shop. It’s something we can do at a flick of a switch,” he said.

Tesco recently outlined a £1bn digital investment strategy in the UK following disappointing sales, with £150m earmarked for investment across its online channels.

“I don’t think we have an online strategy, we have a retailing strategy that is increasingly digital. Online is becoming part of the core business,” McNamara told Computer Weekly earlier this year.

Source: Kathleen Hall Computer Weekly

28 November 2012
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