Tesco launches supermarket sat nav

Ever got lost in a supermarket? If so Tesco have now come to the rescue!

If you can’t seem to find those baked beans, you could soon be able to use a sat nav to help! Yes it’s the same sort of technology that you have in your car but it comes in the form of a smartphone.

Currently Tesco are trialing a new app for Google Android powered smartphones which allows you to enter your shopping list and then the phone will give you directions to the isle and shelf that you can find your items in. Pretty impressive huh?

Tesco LogoThe idea is that it saves you time, meaning you can be in and out much faster. This could make supermarkets less crowded in the future, which could mean less space is needed for people and more for food and other goods.

One of the key ways in which supermarkets like Tesco and Asda make their money however is when people spot products on the way to finding their next item. Often ‘special offer’ products will be placed in areas of the shop that you are bound to walk past and notice.

This behavior from the supermarkets has left some critics believing that supermarkets may program the device to take the ‘scenic route’ in order to get you to buy more, rather than get out quicker.

If you live in Essex, Tesco’s Extra stores in the area are currently trialing the system, so be sure to check it out and leave us a comment πŸ™‚


Because the application is still under development, you have to apply to a testing group to be able to try out the new technology. Soon however, if the service proves successful, Tesco hope to role it out in all of its stores and on multiple platforms – Blackberry and iPhone being the next most obvious systems.

What do you think, could this really improve your shopping experience, or is the way forward online shopping anyway?

9 thoughts on “Tesco launches supermarket sat nav

  1. This subject interests me as it affects my niche website, Where to Buy Quinoa. I built this site to help people find quinoa in their hometown grocery stores. Searchers are frustrated because even when a store carries quinoa, it can be a challenge to find the right aisle. Many stores carry different brands of quinoa on separate aisles of the store, making it difficult to compare prices between brands.

    I believe the store apps will have to provide a route through the store that does not backtrack. If the routes provided by the app double back or include unnecessary aisles, that will be obvious and people will complain.

    I worry more about the decisions the app has to make when there are different places to find a product in the store. Will you have to enter a brand name when hunting for something like quinoa? When faced with a choice, will the app always guide you to the highest price?

    On another note, if they tie the app to the purchases users make at the register (e.g. allow app users to save on their total bill by using a rewards card tied to their app account) individual grocery store owners will have access to local buying behavior information that is highly specific and relevant to their locations.

    Although…if the apps are tied to rewards cards, the apps could use relevance to automatically direct people to those brands they have already shown they prefer.

    Many interesting implications.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Wow! It would seem that this could be very good news for you then Tammi, providing it works the way you want it too.

      I can understand that for niche products like yours it could be really beneficial, as it makes it much easier to find them, but as you say, which brand would be the first ‘stop’ on the sat nav?

      Thanks for the comment, loads of opinion and some interesting info about you and your site – the sort of comment I love πŸ˜‰

  2. Ha, that’s a cool idea from Tesco. I wonder if other stores will do the same (if they haven’t already)? I think great because sat navs help us get around places much easier. You can get them for vehicles, too, like with the Garmin Nuvi 255w. It’s crazy how they are being used by Tesco!

    • Christopher (admin team)

      That’s what I thought James. You seem to be in the sat nav business, what’s your opinion: potential success or fail?

      Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

  3. This is a wonderful idea from TESCO. It’s going to make my shopping time easier and more convenient. The idea of knowing the right route will decrease the time of going around different isles looking for the things that we want. I think this idea can help stores become less crowded. I really hope it will be launched sooner.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      It would be good if your shopping was quicker wouldn’t it πŸ™‚

      Not sure whether it will only be specific stores in the long run, or where even Tesco Metro shops could have it…

      Anyway, you are now part of our community thanks to your comment Rylee, so welcome and I hope you stick around πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

  4. I like the idea of being able to find the things I need when supermarket shopping – however as the article points out they could be programmed to take me past some “special offers” on a less direct route. I would hope they offer the option of a “most direct” route.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      It would be good if you could programme it to different settings, e.g. fastest route/quick shop; scenic route/long shop; just wandering; looking for bargains etc.

      Thanks for the comment, it’s always great to see a new face πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

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