Food shopping has changed. If you haven’t yet tried a home-delivery or click-and-collect service, we really recommend you do. It’ll add a small amount to your food bill, but in our book the time and effort saved is worth much more. (Also see: Best online grocery shopping services)
Mobile apps for supermarkets can come in handy, allowing you to add items to your basket as you think of them, forming a digital shopping list you can access from anywhere. But you’ll still have to install the app on your phone or tablet and remember to log in and add the item each time.
If you shop at Tesco, Google Home can simplify this process. If you’re already using Google’s smart speaker in your kitchen then even better, since the process will quickly feel very natural.
Using the free IFTTT app, you can link the Google Assistant with your online Tesco account, then give Google Home simple commands to add items to your shopping basket.
This will work better if you’ve previously shopped online with Tesco, since it will be able to draw on your usual items or favourites to help it add the correct items to your basket.
Unfortunately, Google Home isn’t able to pay the bill and pick a home-delivery or collection slot on your behalf, but it does make it easy to quickly add items to your shopping basket throughout the week, then simply log in at the end of the week and pay the bill. Here’s how to set it up.
In time we expect this will also be available for other supermarkets, though at the time of writing we were able to integrate only Tesco with the Google Assistant through IFTTT.
Handily, Tesco has just announced that it is offering same-day delivery in selected areas when you order before 1pm.
(You’ll also like: Google Home UK review)
Add items to Tesco basket with Google Home
1. Download and install the free IFTTT app from Google’s Play Store or the App Store. You’ll need to create an account or log into an existing one – you can sign up with your Facebook, Google or other email account. With the app open, select the My Applets tab at the bottom right, then click the ‘+’ icon at the top. On the next screen tap the blue ‘+this’ link.
2. Scroll down to and select Google Assistant, then tap the option to ‘Say a phrase with a text ingredient’. Google will prompt you to connect the Google Assistant, which simply requires you to log into your Google account in a browser and give IFTTT the necessary permissions – just follow the prompts.
3. Now you need to set up the trigger, or in other words what you will say to Google in order to make it add items to your Tesco basket. We’ve gone for the simple route, as it’s the most likely to be remembered.
In the field ‘What do you want to say?’ type ‘buy $’. There are two extra fields below where you can add alternative versions, for example ‘add $ to basket’, but you need to enter only one.
The $ sign here is super-important, because it tells the Google Assistant that more information will be provided in place of this $ sign. Rather than saying $, you say the product name of the item you want to add to the basket. For example, ‘buy eggs’ or ‘add eggs to basket’.
Although you will need to say Okay Google or Hey Google to wake Google Home before providing this command, you do not need to include that instruction here.
At the bottom of the window is a text field for which you can enter a response you would like to hear from the Google Assistant. This is worth doing, even if it’s something as simple as ‘Okay’, because it confirms to you that Google Home has dealt with your request.
When you’re happy with your triggers, tap the tick icon at the top right of the screen.
4. Now it’s time to specify what happens when you make that command. Tap the blue ‘+that’ link on the next screen, then scroll down to and select Tesco. Select the option to ‘Search for and add product to basket’.
5. You’ll be prompted to connect to Tesco to turn on IFTTT applets. As before with Google, this simply requires logging into your Tesco account in a browser window, then affording it the necessary permissions. It’s very straightforward – just follow the prompts.
6. Having connected to Tesco you’ll see a blue screen that says Complete action at the top, with the action ‘Search for and add product to basket’ below. There will be a text field that should contain a greyed out option for ‘TextField’. If this is not what you’re seeing then you’ve forgotten to add the $ sign in your trigger. You don’t need to change anything, just tap the tick icon at the top of the screen to confirm.
7. Now you’ll see a summary of your applet. We recommend sliding off the toggle next to ‘Receive notifications when this app runs’, then tapping Finish. The applet should now be switched on and working as desired – to add an item to your Tesco shopping basket simply give Google Home the command you specified in step 3.
You can buy Google Home for £129 from the Google Store, Argos, Currys, John Lewis and Maplin.
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