It seems only a short time ago I stumbled across the reality that mobile devices and their GPS capabilities could be used as tools to entice customers in various ways, almost like spruikers outside “that” sort of establishment . Suddenly they are everywhere, and blogs are popping up to tell you how they work, spreading the word still more quickly, and the use is exploding in the US.

Today the iPhone app used by Tesco to market product offers direct to customers based on their purchase history was demonstrated to me by a Tesco customer. The purchase data is captured at the checkout, by swiping a Tesco card at the checkout, but you do not need the card, there is an app that provides the code by swiping the phone over the reader. Your product and brand preferences, baskets, purchase intervals, location, time of day, and a wealth of data is analysed, and tailored offers sent to your phone. This is a remarkably powerful marketing tool, now a relatively mature application (ie older than 6 months, and working)  in the UK, and Tesco seem to be experimenting and innovating constantly, staying ahead of the game.

For Australians, most of this stuff is still fantasy, the “connected” group who think beyond facebook, have seen comment and descriptions, but not the application, at least not in Australia.  However, it is just around the corner, coming to a supermarket near you!!