So you know the feeling, you return from holiday, suffer the Gatwick Express, then the tube, then possibly a taxi too, finally open the front door and the first thing you can think of is a nice cup of tea. But the problem is that the milk you left in the fridge two weeks ago now resembles furry blue yoghurt.
During the summer, Tesco tested out a brilliant service at Gatwick Airport’s north terminal: the Gatwick ‘virtual store’. Customers could view a range of products by whizzing through some very flashy moving screens on large virtual ‘fridges’. They could then scan the barcodes (iPhone or Android) to put goods into their online baskets, then book a home delivery and pay. With hour slots, you could practically predict that your shopping would arrive home at the same time as you. Here’s a link to the video of the ‘virtual store’ in action:
Tesco let me have a dabble with their online app, available here, so I could see the technology in action. I’m not massively techno-fabulous so I enlisted the help of the Death Wish Dude (my first mistake). After an easy (and free) download, he set about roaming the house, randomly scanning barcodes, to see whether we could arrange an entire shop using just the barcode scanning.
The technology, though fabulous for when you get back from holiday, is also fabulous when you’re stuck at home. Someone on Twitter asked me if you could scan goods as they run out throughout the week, and yes, you can. It remembers the goods in your online basket, ready for you to ‘check out’ at the end of the week. No more shopping lists stuck on the fridge.
The dude’s verdict? Generally positive although it didn’t recognise the barcode on Nutella and we noticed random things like if you want to re-order a box of Bud, you can’t do it unless you kept the box as there are no barcodes on the bottles. Still, easily searched for on the search engine.
The delivery: spot on time, VERY friendly and helpful, took away all my plastic bags for recycling, gave me loads of tips about busy/quieter delivery times, and my order was perfect, not a single replacement.
A massive thank you to Tesco for letting me have a go with the app, and huge apologies for the randomness of my order which, thanks to my youngest son, included such delights as two massive jars of coffee (‘what? It was buy one get one free.’) a large amount of Double Deckers, and some David Beckham aftershave. I vote to make the service permanent at Gatwick too. I, for one, could do without furry blue tea after a week away.