Despite announcing their recent intention to close stores and slash 10,000 jobs, this week ailing supermarket Tesco have demonstrated that they are still working on new ways to adapt and diversify, in this case by bringing something different to the beauty retail sector of their market. Tesco are using retail technology to keep ahead of the game – with the launch of a new, one-to-one online beauty consultation service that uses Google+ video conferencing technology.
The free, confidential consultations with industry professionals can be arranged via ‘Google+ hangouts’. Users get the chance to talk with a real person in real time about any beauty issues or to seek advice for individual aspects of their beauty regime. After each discussion users will receive an email with a list of beauty product recommendations based on their chat. Tesco claim that this is the first time that any company has offered this kind of online beauty consultation in this way.
In an ongoing drive to increase customer engagement and build brand loyalty, during testing times for the ‘big four’ supermarkets, Tesco hope that the new service will help to boost sales – by using innovative technology to create a unique selling point.
Speaking toRetail Week magazine, Mark Baxter, Marketing Director at Tesco explains how he hopes the new service will improve their offer:
“The launch of beauty hangouts as part of our marketing strategy will continue to drive the growth of the beauty category within Tesco.
“The online beauty consultations allow us to offer a personal, expert service outside the store environment in a way which also reflects the democratic nature of the brand.”
This isn’t the first time that the retail giant has experimented with using Google+. In July 2014 they created online field trips for Primary School children – so we will be watching with interest to see if this new scheme takes off – and whether any other stores from the ‘big four’ follow suit and copy the idea.