Yesterday Tesco announced that they are to enter the tablet market with the Hudl.  With the price bracket set at £119 it’s in line to compete with the Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 (seriously, these guys should be paying me)…

Hudl

All these retailers have two things in common, a large customer base and secondly a supporting ecosystem that can upsell, track and monitor what you are doing. It’s a trade off….

I predicted a few years ago that Tesco really needed to shift Clubcard holders onto a mobile device. At the time I was meaning the phone (2010 and the iPhone stronghold was in place).   In the last 12 months tablets have become the second screen and are gaining in popularity among consumers.

It’s the ecosystem Stu pot!

Tesco have invested into streaming TV services (Clubcard TV), films (Blinkbox) and it’s existing banking services. Couple this with your Clubcard and there’s some serious targeted advertising that can happen.  Learning from Target once you figure out the sweet spot to finding the method the customer responds to the most (phone call, direct mailing, app, SMS message, email and so on) then you can tailor the message and save money on the postage.

This not about selling a tablet computer just before Christmas, this is so much more than that.

This is not for every retailer

Tesco aren’t the first retailer to bring their own tablet out, Next tried in to 2010. The market wasn’t ready, the £180 price point was out of reach for most (though much cheaper than the iPad) and the quality of the technology wasn’t quite there.  It never took off for Next.

On the opposite side of the coin you have Waterstones whole started out selling the Sony book reader with it’s own ecosystem. Last year it ceased selling Sony and started stocking Amazon Kindle devices instead.  It’s a large disjoint as obviously Kindle users are purchasing from Amazon, not Waterstones and the mail outs from the high street bookseller carry a heavy disclaimer that ebooks purchased from Waterstones won’t work on the Kindle.

The day Waterstones switched to the Kindle I’m sure the retail industry was reacting with, “Hey, wha’ happen?“.

Back to Tesco

The final question has to be, “Are Tesco too late?”.  Both Amazon and Google (and that Apple company) have had tablet devices out for a long while now. Is the peak purchase of these devices over yet or is the incline of tablet sales still happening?

Then there’s the creepy factor to take into consideration. Once you’re account info is stored then you’re a producer of content for them to learn off.   Tesco’s have many years of experience with the data though I’m sure SAS will be creeking at the sides by now….

So the fact remains, if you want to get ahead you need to be the ecosystem not contributing to it.

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