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Tesco delivers on free customer Wi-Fi promise

Tesco is offering customers in its 'Extra' stores free Wi-Fi access while they browse around the stores following a successful trial of the service
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Supermarket chain Tesco has started rolling out free Wi-Fi across all of its Extra stores following a successful trial of the scheme earlier in the year.

Tesco Exstra store

Shoppers can now access the free Wi-Fi service in more than 200 Tesco Extra stores around the country. Photo credit: ColinJCampbell/Flickr

Shoppers can now access the free Wi-Fi service in more than 200 Tesco Extra stores around the country, a Tesco spokeswoman told ZDNet UK.

"People are increasingly using a variety of digital services and we're excited by our customers' reaction to the new service," Mike McNamara, chief information officer at Tesco, said in a statement on Monday.

The service is powered by "brand new" O2 Wi-Fi hotspots, an O2 spokesman confirmed. Tesco Clubcard holders will be able to log on to the service using their Clubcard number for unlimited service. Non-Clubcard holding customers will be able to use the service for free for 15 minutes each day.

The retailer announced its intention to trial in-store Wi-Fi access for shoppers in January and went ahead with a test run in four stores in July, with the intention of wider deployment if the scheme was successful.

The company said it had seen "lots of positive feedback" from customers that had used the trial service. It also said the Wi-Fi had mostly been used by customers for comparing product prices and reading reviews as they shopped.

According to a post-trial survey, people that took part universally found the service "easy to use" and 82 percent said they would definitely use it again.

The majority of users — 71 percent — accessed the service via a smartphone, while just 11 percent used a tablet to get online in-store. Nine percent of visitors in the trial accessed the Wi-Fi service using a laptop. Tesco has not explained how the remaining nine percent accessed the service at the time of writing.

Tesco is also currently trialling the use of augmented reality (AR) technology in six of its stores to allow shoppers to see a 3D version of products that are available to buy from the stores but that are not on display.

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