Why have we snubbed iPhone by launching grocery on Nokia?

I have lots of interesting feedback from readers wondering why we we went for Nokia first and (as GoMo News put it, “Tesco snubs iPhone with mobile commerce application”).

First of all we actually haven’t snubbed iPhone. Ribot have built grocery apps for both Nokia and iPhone and we’re just finishing user-acceptance testing of the iPhone version which will give you a similar experience to the walkthrough I posted yesterday.

You know me by now – I love iPhone!

But it’s not about me, is it: It’s about thinking of our customers and the sort of phones they have. I have written before about ‘Busy Mums’, and there are are other demographic groups core to our online grocery business.  You’ll also recall that I wrote recently about our Venn Diagram of core demographic shoppers and iPhone users and finding there wasn’t much overlap. So when we did look at the sort of phones that they have, we spotted that plenty of them had Nokia phones, so we invited Nokia to come and map their phone data on our demographic data and we both confirmed much more overlap with their Series-60 smart phones than we did with iPhone. Maybe not a surprise, but we needed to see the evidence.

With this data staring at us – and with three iPhone apps from Tesco already deployed – it just made sense to try this out with Nokia first. Yes of course Nokia are delighted with our decision and they will be showcasing the Tesco grocery app in their OVI store awareness marketing, and we thank them for that!

But R&D, as a value to our business, is about examining the facts ruthlessly and following the evidence relentlessly – and the biggest cold hard fact is that a much greater percentage of our core customer base for online grocery have a Series-60 Nokia phone than an iPhone.

It’s also a fact that Nokia’s latest phones are capable internet devices and have become savvy at running apps. Customers will enjoy a good grocery shopping experience on their phone.

However, iPhone fans, a grocery application from Tesco will be reaching you during the course of September. Far from snubbing iPhone, I think we (or rather, Ribot) have done that device proud, as you will see.

Until then please allow our Nokia-owning customers enjoy a first crack of the app whip for once!

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