Social media cases study: Tesco and social shopping platform Foodie.fm

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You may’ve heard that supermarket behemoth Tesco has signed up for Foodie.fm – a service which has been dubbed by its backers as “the Facebook for grocers”.

Launched by technology firm Digital Foodie, Foodie.fm claims to be the first social network to offer a social shopping platform for grocers via a fully integrated checkout with www.tesco.com.

Having purchased social media company BzzAgent back in May last year,Tesco is certainly not shy about using social media as part of its wider business strategy, and their partnership with Foodie.fm looks like another way of embracing multichannel more effectively.

Foodie.fm, available as free app on iPhoneAndroid and Nokia applications, as well as via the Web and Facebook, enables users to make friends with other food lovers and to swap cooking tips and recipes. Visitors can create an editable shopping list, based around a meal, by clicking on photos of recipes. For example, if a user was to click on the recipe for beef burgers, the shopping list would consist of  mince meat, onions, salt, etc.

The Foodie.fm site then checks availability with Tesco before the order is placed, the customer pays and delivery is arranged.

At the core of Foodie.fm is a recommendation system that learns from a user’s eating and purchasing habits, and suggests recipes and groceries that match his or her ‘taste profile’. The system takes into account personal preferences like food allergies or intolerance, as well as any budgetary restrictions. This enables users to personalise their profile and allows the site to suggest recipes and groceries to match customer profiles. It is this customised shopping list that will help the consumer plan and budget for a week, or even month’s worth of meals, and the shopping that is needed for it, in one go.

Until now, food retailers and consumer packaged goods were somewhat sheltered from the toughening economy, with 40% of people spending more on groceries than 3 months ago (according to Deloitte) – a result not just determined by inflation, but the fact that the tough current economy means that people spending are more time at home cooking for themselves rather than eating out in bars and restaurants.

However, as Deloitte has pointed out in their recent Consumer Review,  40% of the value of all transactions in non-food retail are now digitally influenced, and it’s hard to believe this influence will not impact food and consumer packaged goods too moving forward.

With this in mind, food retailers would do well to explore options like Tesco’s partnership with Foodie.fm. Given the rise of the connected customer, retailers should look at strategies for integrating social and multichannel into their offering, and should look at ways at becoming an agile and fully engaged social business.

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2 Responses
  • Jan 19, 2012

    Hi Jo,

    Fascinating article, I’d not heard about this before. When you see examples such as this, social business almost seems obvious and inevitable yet many are still finding their feet.

    How do you see social business developing in slightly more reserved industries such as manufacturing?

    Ben Widdowson Jan 19, 2012
    Reply
    • Jo Stratmann
      Jan 19, 2012

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for your comment. With manufacturing I think the most accessible way for that industry to start moving towards becoming a social business is to make use of the two way communication that social media affords. Manufacturers would do well to listen to and communicate with the people who use and enjoy their products as it will give them the opportunity to ask questions and get answers.

      Jo Stratmann Jan 19, 2012

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