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EDITORIAL From Asos and Ocado to ScS: tracing patterns of changing shopper behaviour

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we report as pureplay retailers Ocado and Asos say their customers are ordering more frequently but spending less each time. Both, it’s worth pointing out, have delivery subscription schemes that encourage that behaviour. And both are seeing overall sales grow as a result of the strategy. In Ocado’s case the retailer has achieved sales growth despite a fire in its robotic fulfilment centre. 

But today’s guest comment questions that approach. It comes from

Gary Rohloff of LayBuy, who considers the environmental cost of free deliveries and returns – and has some suggestions to make.

Meanwhile, Bonmarché has warned on profits, after it put heavy discounting in place in order to clear autumn and winter stocks. It’s now finding shoppers holding back from buying and expects losses to come in at as much as £6m during the financial year.

Today we have a useful insight into how ScS shoppers buy. It makes sense for the sofa-to-carpets retailer to invest online because this is its fastest growing channel – even though 95% of its sales still take place in store. This points to shoppers’ expectations that they will be able to research their sales online, before they venture into store to see their potential purchases for themselves. Sofas are about comfort and the store enables shoppers to check that for themselves, but equally, says ScS, a growing number of customers are willing to take that on trust, buying online without paying a visit. 

Today we also report as JD Sports bids for Footasylum and from our European coverage, we report as the French Casino supermarket group invests online as it expects 30% of sales to come from that channel in the future. The retailer is no doubt learning from the UK experience, where customers have become increasingly willing to shop online, and less likely to visit a store. 

Image: Fotolia

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