Tesco TJam

So this evening I attended Tesco’s TJam event held at Microsoft’s London Customer Centre at Victoria.

Tesco is starting the rollout of it’s new backend Grocery application, code named Martini (anytime, anyplace, anywhere).
They have opened up their new APIs from their grocery service to a few select developers. In fact very select, you had to attend to launch/briefing in person to register for the scheme.

A lot of time had obviously gone into preparing the event. With almost the whole conference room covered in brainstorm sheets and post it notes. These covered 5 main areas for potential developers to concentrate on or consider for their application. This was based on market and socioethnic research (hey that may not be the correct word but I didn’t write it down and I’m now on the train).

After an initial introduction, we were all invited to chow down on pizza, lager and wine (actually nice for change to get red and white wine available) and browse the brainstormings, only slightly hindered by Microsoft’s insistence that no one take food or drink into their meeting rooms.

The APIs look reasonably well thought out and the new Martini release adds some great new functionality, such as nutrition information and cheaper alternatives to products in your shopping basket.

There were some concerns voiced by some developers present at the briefing, quite rightly, over their security implementation, which requires the API consumer to forward the users login credentials, rather than implementing OAuth or another signature/token based authentication mechanism.
It looks like this will probably be addressed in a future release, once Martini is live and running Tesco’s existing shopping site.
Customer basket checkout has yet to) be finalised, due to financial and legal compliance.

Everyone who attended the event and wishes to participate in the affliate scheme will get signed up to TradeDoubler and will earn £5 for each new customer they manage to entice into signing up to Tesco’s online shopping service.
The tricky part of this is then the ongoing revenue.
For each basket purchased over the value of £50 the application developer gets a potential £0.10. Potential, as this is the proportional to the number of products added to basket by that particular application versus the total number of products in the basket.
Note also products in basket not items. 10 one penny chews would earn you the same as someone adding an iPhone or flatscreen tv. This is deliberate, to prevent skewing of apps towards higher value goods.

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