Grocery shopping, for most people, is something of an inexact science. A Tesco “Buy One Get One Free” promotion on asparagus has a habit of appealing directly to people’s emotions, no matter how they feel about asparagus in the first place. Likewise, if the weather’s nice, barbecue food makes perfect sense, but that requires forward planning.
So now Tesco has come up with a way of taking the chance out of your online grocery order, by harnessing the power of IFTTT – or “If This Then That”, to use its slightly more unwieldy title. The basic premise of IFTTT allows you to chain smart device functions together, so you could automatically send an email to your partner when you leave the office, or make your lights change colour when it’s raining. You canread some great examples of things to do on our sister site, Expert Reviews.
Tesco has opened up a channel that allows you to change your online grocery list automatically based on factors that your various devices detect. Currently, the channel is integrated with email, weather reports, Twitter and Evernote, but also bafflingly the Wink Egg Minder, which is actually an IoT device to keep an eye on your eggs. Really.
So what does this mean in a real-world scenario? Let’s say you like salmon, but it’s an expensive treat that you can’t justify every week. Tesco’s IFTTT channel will automatically add it to your basket, but only when it’s less than a price of your choosing. Or you could get the IFTTT channel to add burgers to your basket when it detects the weather is going to be perfect for a barbecue tomorrow. Or maybe your Wink Egg Minder is worried that you’re dangerously low on protein? Probably best to add a dozen to the basket, knowing your penchant for omelettes.
Whether or not Tesco customers will embrace the service is another thing, but it’s undeniably brilliant to see a massive company such as Tesco trying it out. And who knows, maybe we’ll see a spike in Egg Minder sales.