The average basket size at Tesco.com has reached £100 for the first time. The retailer said today that the increase came as the number of customers for its online grocery business grew by 10% to 1.2m as a result of increased satisfaction with service.
The retailer, reporting on its financial results for the first half of its year, said availability had improved and there were fewer calls to the service centre. Customer innovations introduced in the first half included an upgraded website, a transactional iPhone app and trials of a ‘drive-through’ Click & Collect grocery service.
Sales in the online grocery operation improved by 10% to £1.2bn in the 26 weeks to August 28 while profits grew by 9.1%. But overall profits from dotcom operations stayed flat at £58m thanks to the impact of start-up costs in Tesco’s online clothing and entertainment businesses and “modest losses in Tesco Direct”. Tesco Direct, which allows customers to order non-food items via the internet and catalogues for delivery to home or store, saw sales increase by 27.8% to an “annualised level approaching £500m”.
Across the group, sales including VAT increased by 8.3% to £32.9bn. Group trading profit was £1.7bn, up 9.1% compared to the same time last year, while pre-tax profits rose 12.5% to £1.6bn.