Industry

One week on, how is Morrisons’ online grocery service going?

Morrisons [IRDX RMOR] is now a week into its online grocery service. Deliveries started last Friday within the Midlands and the supermarket expects to cover half of the UK by the beginning of 2015. So far, said the supermarket today, those deliveries have been well-received. “We’re very, very happy with our performance in the first week,” said Morrisons head of media relations Julian Bailey. “Customers overall seem really happy. Of course you will get the odd teething problem but nothing we’re overly worried about at this stage.”

Morrisons will be reporting on the early progress of the venture, run in partnership with Ocado, in its full-year results on March 13. Analysts will be waiting with interest to see whether the service will compete effectively with those longer-established services that are already used by Morrisons’ customers. Those customers, Morrisons has said, already spend £0.5bn each year buying from other providers. It is hopeful that it will gain ground with those consumers. “The early signs are that there is clear demand from Morrisons customers to shop with Morrisons online,” said Morrisons’ Bailey.

So is the launch timely, building on insights already gained from others’ experiences, or is it too late, with many of Morrisons’ own customers already loyal to other grocers?

That’s the question Internet Retailing editor-in-chief Ian Jindal [IRDX IIJI] tackled in a recent interview on BBC Radio’s Shane O’Connor Breakfast Show. He suggests that while Morrisons’ may believe it has a second mover advantage, it has, “lost the opportunity to lock in early adopters and get that loyalty.” Instead of competing to be cheapest, it is now competing on quality, with services including the virtual butcher who will cut meat to order. Now, says Jindal, “This is a fight for the customer and not just for the online order”. Customers, he believe, will not quibble about the odd penny here or there on a can of beans. Rather, he says, the question they are deciding on is: “Who do I prefer to buy it from? Who do I see as my shop? That’s who they’re going with.” The task now for the supermarkets, he suggests, is to win shoppers’ hearts and minds by giving them the service that they want, when they want it.

Hear Ian Jindal’s interview in full (4 mins) here.

Do you agree with him? Leave your comment below.

Mentioned in this piece…

Morrisons

Morrisons

IRDX: RMOR

Morrisons is one of the ‘big four’ British supermarket chains with headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Founded in 1899 by William Morrison, the company now has over 400 stores in the UK. (more…)

Ian  Jindal

Ian Jindal

IRDX: IIJI

Ian Jindal is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of InternetRetailing.

IRUK and IREU Advisory Board member, 2015.

6 comments on “One week on, how is Morrisons’ online grocery service going?

  1. Keep on writing informative and accurate blogs!

  2. James Jackson said:

    When will we in Leicester be able to shop on-line at Morrisons?
    James Jackson.

  3. Daniel said:

    Morrisons delivered yesterday and WOW I have been blown away at with the amazing new online service. From text messages before hand, detailed explanation by the driver about actual products and a real step change in an easy to use website. Great prices with awesome service. Tried the others….will not be going back!

  4. Mark Harris said:

    My hunch is there will be (broadly) two types of shopper. The first is the “brand champion” who will be relieved that at last they can do their online shop at the same store they use offline. Indeed there may well be many Morrisons customers who have put off the online experience until their shop of choice can provide. Then there is the “brand flirt” who does the dry goods and certain select choices at Lidl, pops into Tesco to avoid long queues and get the finest ready meals, then into Waitrose for a coffee and those nice chocolates the sunday supp wrote about. The flirt is probably most likely to have adopted their online provider of choice, but if Morrisons can persuade them that in fact they can deliver the best online experience… who knows. The question is in what proportions do these customers exist?

  5. Pingback: UK online shoppers set to spend more than £100bn in 2014 | Internet Retailing

  6. Alison berisford said:

    Hello ,I am so excited at hearing morrisons have at last gone online ,however I am dissapointed they arnt delivering in my area as of yet can you tell me when this will be ? I live in Preston Lancashire .

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