Monday 8 November 2010

Can anyone else feel the momentum in mobile?

A little over a week ago I wrote a post about how brands, agencies and the mobile industry in general needs to stop regarding the "mobile internet" as something distinct and unique, as this only serves to continue the isolationism that all too often is projected by the industry.

After all, it's just the internet.

The key point being that consumers don't differentiate so why should we?  Those that are in the know may understand that there are some fundamental differences between both the way that different devices access an internet site/page and what a consumers motivation/needs are when doing so - but any differentiated treatment based on the device should be completely hidden from the user and their experience should be seemless.  It's like suggesting you should drive a car differently on the basis of whether there is unleaded, diesel or 4-star (maybe LPG would be a better example) in the tank.

Increasingly, brands need to try and operate in that space that is the union of innovation and inclusivity in order to achieve this (I'll re-print my canny diagram that best illustrates this space below):

Well, blow me, Tesco are only going and helping to set the pace aren't they? 

Tesco you say?  Yes indeed.  Tesco.

The NMA today reported that the world's third largest retailer has launched its first transactional mobile website, an optimised version of Tesco Direct, their non-food operation.  This follows swiftly on the heels of the launch of the Tesco mobile apps for food purchases - currently on both Ovi and iPhone (somewhat notably, Tesco chose to launch on the Ovi, which provides broader reach, before a "cooler" iPhone version).  So if you go to on your mobile, you'll get redirected to the and be able to browse and purchase as you see fit.  


Of course, this move sits as part of a wider strategy within Tesco as they look to branch out into other markets that are currently dominated by the likes of Argos and Amazon (both of whom have mobile on their agenda too of course), but it does serve to demonstrate how important it is to support browsers using a mobile device.  Tesco have stated that 7% of traffic to Tesco Direct was from a mobile device (it would be interesting to know if this includes tablets) and that this has grown by 300% over the last year.  It is that kind of evidence that all brands, not just those with the big kahunas like Tesco, will need to take heed of or risk being marginalised in an increasingly digital, and mobile device centric, future.

Note: Whilst I am very pleased to see what Tesco are doing, the fact that their main website ( is not optimised for mobile devices, is a black mark I'm afraid.  But maybe I shouldn't be so fussy...


  1. An update to this, I have just received an SMS from O2 More, with a discount code for £5 off when I spend £25 on the Tesco Direct mobisite.

    This pleases me for a couple of reasons:

    1. Tesco Direct have not just deployed a mobisite, they are actively supporting/pushing it, and doing so in the mobile channel.

    2. This is now the second worthwhile message I have received from O2 More in the last few days (I'll post a blog about the first shortly).

    3. The discount is a voucher code that it TRACKABLE. Finally, what looks like a serious attempt by a large retailer to measure the effectiveness of such activity.

    So kudos to both O2 More and Tesco.