Retailer Tesco has launched its own channel on the IFTTT platform, enabling customers to automate parts of the shopping process and make baskets smarter. IoT is coming into your home…
If you haven’t heard of IFTTT yet, it’s already been described as the glue that holds the Internet of Things (IoT) together. IFTTT stands for ‘If This Then That’. It’s a handy platform that allows users to join all of their different accounts and devices in one place, while creating relationships and connections between them.
These connections are known as ‘recipes’, and are set up in the structure of ‘If this happens, then that should happen’- there simply needs to be a trigger and a resulting action. Some basic examples could be for Instagram photos to be automatically uploaded to Dropbox, or for the user’s heating to come on once they are within a certain distance of the house.
Equally, Tesco’s new channel will allow users to set parameters with regards to shopping. In a company blog post, Paul Wilkinson from Tesco Labs outlined the retailer’s hopes and expectations for the move.
He said: “We’ve created our own channel on IFTTT with two triggers and a single action. You can now trigger any other action on IFTTT if the price of a Tesco product changes or if it goes below a certain price. On the action side you can use any of the triggers to add a specified item into your basket.”
So what does this mean for Tesco customers? Shopping through the Tesco channel on IFTTT, users can now select a range of triggers and consequences. For example, if the weather forecast is due to be sunny this weekend, they can arrange for barbeque supplies to be added the basket. Or more simply, if the price of beef drops below a certain amount, IFTTT will add it to the basket.
It’s a move that certainly offers Tesco customers more flexibility, as well as a hint at how automated shopping could become in the near future.
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Everyone’s a winner with IoT
Speaking exclusively with Internet of Business, Fred de Haro, CEO of Pycom, highlighted how this move is likely to benefit both Tesco and its customers.
“Tesco wants you to find shopping quicker, easier and more economic”, he said. “It’s a natural step in connecting our lives more and more with the suppliers we use every day. In time it will be connected to the fridge and the cupboard we put the food in.”
But it isn’t just about increasing customer loyalty. Fred de Haro said that “IoT is also about driving more efficiency so you save money as a business. I therefore wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a business case behind this that is linked to a wider efficiency drive. When a company can better predict your habits they will have a better forecasting ability on the supply chain, be in a position to improve wastage, make better ranging decisions with suppliers, and often don’t need to spend as much to acquire you as a customer – instead they put effort into retaining you. Overall it works, because the customer wants the benefit of convenience and the brand wants all the benefits that are derived from loyalty.”
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