Tesco trials mobile coupons to drive traffic to new concept store

British grocer Tesco has taken a tentative step into the mobile couponing world with a limited test conducted in tandem with mobile firm Weve.

The trial was first applied to Tesco staff before being rolled out to customers near a new concept store on London's Villiers Street. Shoppers in the vicinity received a message that generated a coupon barcode when clicked, worth £1 off a range of food-to-go options valued at £3.

However, because shoppers have increasingly felt bombarded by push messages, Tesco ensured that it limited who received the offers and when. Before the trial kicked off, Weve set a habitual location geo fence, meaning that Tesco customers only received the offer if they had passed by the new store or travelled through the nearby Embankment tube station at least six times during a two-week period. The system also targeted shoppers over the age of 18 and ensured each individual was only messaged once.

"Tesco understands that mobile can and should be part of the shopping experience in ways that can directly benefit the consumer and give them a greater understanding of vouchering and couponing process," Weve's FMCG partnership manager Shelly Chotai said in a statement. "This initiative between Weve and Tesco tests a whole number of interesting ideas, from habitual and live location, unique mobile couponing that can only be redeemed once, to the creation of bespoke audiences to drive footfall into a whole new range of stores that are different in their concept and ideas."

This initiative was launched specifically to raise awareness and drive foot traffic to the new London concept store. Like many retailers, Tesco has been making an effort to better incorporate mobile into the shopping experience across the board. Cisco research found earlier this year that more than half of shoppers use retail apps in-store, and Tesco has been rolling out new scanning systems that can read digital barcodes in an attempt to adapt to that trend.  

This isn't the first time Tesco has worked with Weve. The retailer was the company's first to partner with a display ad-targeting service last year that ran campaigns across three major mobile networks totaling 22 million users.

For more:
-See this Drum story
-See this Retail Week story (subscription required)

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