INTERNET RETAILING IN STORE – MORRISONS’ SCORE 4/25
Use of digital technology in store at Morrisons is limited at present, particularly from the customer’s point of view. That said the business has been going through a transformation in the last few years with significant investment in its systems to move them into the omnichannel era and also to start to integrate themselves with sister business Kiddicare.
As part of a move towards a more streamlined stock management process that connects store managers more closely to the supply chain, Morrisons now uses wirelessly connected tablets in-store which enable greater autonomy of ordering on a store-by-store basis so that each store can reflect the needs of its local community.
Also, recently implemented, are state of the art self-service checkouts. Although the full extent of the checkouts functionalities may not be operational at Morrisons at present, they do offer many very interesting capabilities that could help the retailer improve the customer experience in future such as:
• Mobile barcode scanning – for use with coupons and loyalty offers integrated with Morrisons email and mobile marketing strategies;
• Personalisation – where the customer registers online to identify themselves and then chooses preferences such as language and digital receipt. On subsequent visits when the customer identifies themselves at the checkout with a loyalty card or mobile barcode the kiosk remembers their preferences and also has knowledge of their previous purchases which it uses to make suggestions for frequently bought catch-weight products (reducing the need to search loose products by name or picture and thus speeding up the checkout process).
In 2012, the business reported the trial of Kiddicare kiosks in the baby aisle of some Morrisons stores. These were planned to be rolled out to 28 stores during 2013, with the aim of letting customers browse the majority of the Kiddicare range including product images, demonstrations and customer reviews, making a purchase for home delivery. Today, however, this digital initiative seems to have been rolled back with Morrisons customer services reporting that this facility is no longer available, although some Morrisons stores do stock an extended range of Kiddicare products (under the brand name Nutmeg).
Having only just taken its first steps into ecommerce with the Ocado tie up, the retailer is yet to offer omnichannel services such as Click & Collect like its competitors. In future, using their 400+ stores as an ordering and pick up point for Kiddicare orders would certainly be a step forward in cross-brand omnichannel integration.
In preparation for omnichannel development the business has been consolidating information and analytics from both Morrisons and Kiddicare customers in order to give it a robust view of its overall customer base. The recently deployed Salesforce CRM system collects data from all customer touch points such as web, email, phone and letter which should help drive more relevant marketing campaigns going forward, and if additionally integrated into some of the upgraded stores systems such as the self-checkout, would provide a richer and more personalised shopping experience for its customers.