Shoppers with an iPhone or iPad could soon be using their Apples to scan in groceries as they walk the aisles of Tesco supermarkets, Tesco.com head of digital Nick Lansley told Computing this week.

His team has already developed home shopping apps, a Tesco store finder app and a Clubcard app. But the mission now is to consolidate to three: transactional apps, banking apps and an app for information on Tesco.

What else is he working on? A mobile device for his in-store stockpickers that tells them where products are in the shops as they pick orders for Tesco.com. The current devices are on the carts that the stockpickers push around. The weakness of this approach is that the carts are bulky and its pickers would prefer to be able to walk nimbly around and bring products back to the carts when the shops are busy. Mobile devices fit the bill. And if you can make that device an iPhone?

Of equal interest is the company’s attitude to development. Instead of using outside companies, it tries to develop neat IT solutions in house. In part Tesco has done this because it has been leading the industry. For example, Tesco set up a web site before most people had heard of the internet and it decided to pick orders from the shopfloor because the cost of special warehouses was too great.

The downside to its competitors of this approach is that outside suppliers do not get a look in at the IT developments and Tesco gets to keep its advances in house.

What IT developments are you making in your store?