Tesco has always been innovative with its adoption of digital technologies. Nick Lansley, an analyst/programmer in its IT division is closely regarded as the brains behind its successful online grocery store it launched in 1996; therefore it’s no surprise that Tesco would continue with its digital innovation by announcing the release of its online store API to the developer community.
So in these days of an open digital world will other big brands follow the Tesco example and start releasing their own APIs?
It’s generally the innovation of in-house individual rather than brands which drive invention and innovation. Nick Lansley is a brilliant example of this. In him Tesco has a forward-thinking developer who has recognised the commercial opportunities for the Tesco brand online.
But this is definitely not something for everyone. When you consider the technical and security implications alone, Tesco is brave to open up its API. Not every brand will have the appetite to take on this type of project, particularly in the current economic environment.
Forward thinking brands that realise their online potential will generate a new level of success, and the benefits are huge – for Tesco it’s another channel to sell their products. For developers it’s an opportunity to realise creative ideas to enhance the value of their product/service. And for consumers it’s another case of technology making their every day life just that little easier.
Imagine your fridge knowing you’re running low on milk and ordering it automatically. What if it could also tie in with your diary to know when you are going to be at home to receive your delivery? That’s just scratching the surface, the possibilities are endless.
More and more brands are releasing their code to allow their data and services to be used by developers. But this doesn’t mean that developing an API is going to be worth the time, money and maintenance you put in.
Ultimately you need the reputation, user base and content that will add value for the people taking advantage of your API. Or identify the potential of others adopting your API that you would never achieve on your own.
Head of Digital