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Building market-leading convenience


The front of a Tesco express store

Kin + Carta partnered with Tesco to develop a new mobile shopping experience

  • Category: Retail Connected Customer Experience Mobile and Web Development

The mobile food phenomenon has taken London by storm. New disruptors entering the arena are changing the food and services industry for good. Convenience and immediacy at the tap of a finger are the new normal - and when it comes to buying our groceries, customer expectations keep on rising.

As the third largest retailer in the world, and an iconic global brand, Tesco is the go-to grocery destination for millions of shoppers. In the face of new competitive entrants, Tesco needed to introduce a new mobile shopping experience in response to growing demand for increased convenience. With a clear vision in place, Tesco appointed Kin + Carta as their expert mobile partner to refine their proposition and accelerate the delivery of a brand new mobile service - Tesco Now.

Tesco Now is a market-leading grocery service with no minimum order, getting everyday essentials to Londoners - quickly, and on-demand. Currently available in London across Zones 1 and 2, this exciting product has continued to rapidly evolve since it's launch in 2017.

Shaped by customer demand

Tesco had already conducted a number of small scale experiments to collect shopper data. This provided important early insight into the customer desire for an on-demand mobile grocery service, and allowed the team to kick-off with an initial Discovery phase supported by Kin + Carta's Strategy team.

The Discovery phase successfully validated and refined both the service and product proposition. Thorough research, focused workshops and in-depth interviews with a core group of Tesco customers meant the joint team clarified their awareness of:

  • What customers expect from an on-demand service;
  • What customers want to achieve from an on-demand service;
  • When and where customers want to make orders. 

Using our outcome-driven framework throughout Discovery allowed the team to move quickly, establishing a clear set of service priorities for the app. These would become essential: empowering the joint team to take leaner, faster decisions and in turn, accelerate delivery.

Mobile screenshots of Tesco app

We chose Kin + Carta because of the team’s proven engineering experience and rapid delivery capability across a wide range of projects. As the project has progressed, Kin + Carta has more than lived up to our expectations: they're open, collaborative and 100% focused on a high quality outcome.

Andrew Clark - Former Head of Tesco Now

Our experience in retail enabled us to create a new mobile shopping experience.

Take a look at our top insights on what's next for retail

Consistency anytime, everywhere

With such a strong, resonant brand as Tesco, it was essential that the new app behave and feel like an integrated channel.

Creating this seamless shopper experience across in-store, online and mobile was made easier thanks to Tesco’s clear design principles. Kin + Carta's designers were able to quickly develop a sleek user interface that maintained the familiar Tesco brand experience on mobile.

Groceries app screen

Streamlined scheduling

In parallel to the app’s development, Tesco also created a sophisticated middleware layer, which supports Tesco Now by optimising data for fast, efficient delivery to mobile. This was a prerequisite for a fast, modern and intuitive mobile experience, whilst additionally allowing Tesco Now to integrate with Tesco’s core backend systems.

Running two such important projects in parallel meant that for the joint team, communication and scheduling were mission critical: both Kin + Carta and Tesco worked closely, side-by-side, to build their respective components based on a modular architecture. This architectural approach delivers acute flexibility, ensuring Tesco Now has room to grow and evolve as the service develops. It also maximises the opportunity for code reuse, and means the product can be efficiently maintained in the future.

Employees in a product workshop

Automated, journey-driven testing

Working alongside Tesco's experts at the company’s dedicated testing lab, Kin + Carta's test engineers conducted extensive usability and exploratory testing.

Automation proved to be key, and for this, Kin + Carta took an innovative journey-driven approach: automating the core end-to-end journeys that customers make through the app. From this, we created a fast, highly efficient automation suite that gave us feedback at pace.

Looking forward, surveys embedded within the app will prove invaluable, continuing to inform Tesco about how users engage with the service. These short feedback loops will provide the essential data necessary to uncover emerging pain points and highlight areas of improvement for future releases.

A decisive factor in the project's success to date has been the focus and dedication shared by both Kin + Carta and Tesco. Both co-locating and co-sourcing the team facilitated strongly collaborative and agile ways of working - allowing team members to stay in sync, and pivot at speed when confronted by unforeseen challenges. This high-performing workflow foundation will be vital as the product evolves beyond its first release in the year ahead.

We also helped build Tescos accessible groceries app

Read more here

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