Adding Multiple Products via IFTTT

An update for our IFTTT channel users – new and old.

When we launched the Tesco channel on If This Then That, we were keen to hear how it was being used, and if there was anything that you – the user –  would change, or like to be added, to improve the functionality. We were delighted that so many of you got in touch via twitter and email to let us know that you would value an amend to the “Add Product to Basket” action – allowing you to add multiple products at a time, rather than just one.

IFTTT Tweet

We’re pleased to confirm that this development has now been completed, with the Add Products to Basket action triggered by IFTTT in the same way as before. This allows a list of products to be easily generated by searching for keywords, brands or products and adding or removing them from your list; which can then be copied and pasted back into the IFTTT action. For ease of use, existing product lists in IFTTT can also be copied into the Tesco Search page and amended there.

We think that the potential benefits of using this multi-product function are almost endless, but here are a few of our favourite ways to use this update which you may wish to try to get you started:

  • If you know that there are items you need regularly, but not with every shop, why not set up a recurring action to add all the items you need at a suitable frequency. For example, add all household cleaning products every 8 weeks, or baked beans every fortnight.
  • By associating products with a special calendar event (for example, parties, birthdays or barbeques), you can ensure that you never forget these items again.
  • Why not create product lists associated with specific meal plans or recipes? You will then have the ability to add products to your basket based on your meal planning for the week.

IFTTT is now also compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, so you can employ voice activated assistance via the Echo or Dot. Here at Labs, we think that Conversational Interfaces in general are hugely exciting, as they provide the ultimate convenience experience. As a food retailers, our first goal is to understand how our customers would use such technology and for what purpose. We’ve already seen mCommerce accelerate ‘little and often’ – the concept of adding grocery items to their basket every now and then (rather than sitting down to place one big order), so the question is whether this tech will enhance that experience or change it completely.Watch this space for news on future Labs experiments and learnings!

As ever, we look forward to hearing about how you’re using this new development – let us know your feedback via email or on twitter.

The Next Generation of Innovators

Our Technology Graduates could be developing the next big innovation for Tesco right now.

One of the things we’re clear about at Tesco Labs is that we’re not the only innovators in the business. Everybody at Tesco is constantly thinking about how to serve our customers a little better.

One way we help to facilitate this is through our Early Careers programme. For the last five years we have been running an Innovation Placement for Technology Graduates which gives the next generation of Tesco colleagues an opportunity to share their ideas and apply their own solutions to business problems.

Although the format has evolved over the years the essence has remained the same. It’s an opportunity for all Technology Graduates to run their own project from idea creation through to proof-of-concept. This involves identifying an opportunity or need, doing their own research into the problem space, generating ideas, planning, designing and developing a working proof-of-concept, and then finally presenting this back to senior stakeholders from across the business.

We support the graduates through the placement, sharing tools and processes and providing technical training that will help them on their way, but we try to allow as much autonomy as possible. It is this autonomy that makes it equally challenging and enjoyable.


“It was 100% the most enjoyable month I’ve had so far at Tesco and I learnt a hell of a lot while doing it.”

Nick Wake, Technology Graduate

The graduates will typically work in groups of four, so collaboration is key to a successful placement. For many it can be a steep learning curve as they will be learning and applying new technologies in an extremely short space of time, they only have 3-4 weeks during the build phase to actually develop a working proof-of-concept that they are able to demonstrate to stakeholders.

We have so far seen 82 graduates come through the placement, working on 28 different projects over the five years. Every single proof-of-concept that we’ve seen demonstrated is an impressive achievement and is testament to the hard work put into it.

Although we don’t measure success in how far the ideas are taken beyond the presentation stage, as it’s really about what the teams learn along the way and the skills they can take forward into their future career at Tesco, we are always pleased and extremely proud to see ideas picked up and developed further.

One such idea is Tesco BackIt which launched last month. It’s a wonderful example of how nurturing even the earliest seed of an idea can help it grow into something great.

Launching Tesco on If This Then That (IFTTT.com)

With the rise of connected home devices we’ve been experimenting with ways to help serve shoppers a little better every day and today we’re happy to announce one of these is now available to try.

At Tesco we’re always on the lookout for new and exciting ways for people to shop. In the past this has led to Tesco.com as well as the first barcode scanner in a mobile app etc.

If you’re reading this blog then the chances are that you might already know about IFTTT – it’s a platform for joining together all your different online accounts to enable you to do clever things. At the most basic level it lets you update Twitter and Facebook at the same time, get email alerts when rain is forecast or make sure you’ve got a backup of your phone contacts in a Google Spreadsheet. The basic structure consists of a trigger and an action. For example IF I change my Facebook profile photo THEN change my Twitter one too.

IFTTT_Logo

From today you’ll be able to do some simple actions with Tesco online too.

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.

That might sound a bit complicated but here’s a few examples to illustrate…

examples

To get started you just need to have an IFTTT account and add the Tesco channel. When you set it up you’ll have to sign in to your Tesco Groceries account to prove who you are but then you should be away.

We’re really interested to see what uses people come up with for this so publish your recipes on IFTTT and get in touch (in the comments below or on twitter or email) if you’ve got any feedback or ideas.