It wasn’t long ago that click and collect was seen as the cutting edge of fulfilling shopping orders made online. These days, according to RetailX research, it is offered by 64% of IREU Top500 retailers. Online shoppers expect delivery and returns to be a seamless, stress-free experience and click and collect is pretty much now taken for granted in certain areas, such as grocery shopping.
Recent research by Webloyalty into what motivates online shoppers found that almost a fifth of UK shoppers are strongly or moderately motivated by practical concerns such as convenience of store location, delivery and returns. This was the second-biggest motivation for UK shoppers after price, confirming that convenience is still key to attracting and keeping customers.
Sainsbury’s, an old hand at click and collect (which it introduced in 2015), is now building on this foundation to find other ways of increasing the speed and convenience of its delivery options. It is also a retailer name-checked in the research as one of the top brands leading the way.
Sainsbury’s reported a 7.3% growth in its online grocery sales in the first quarter of its latest financial year. It stands out in collection, delivery and returns for being among the 5% of Top500 retailers that offer nominated-time delivery.
It also offers same-day delivery, with delivery to 90% of UK postcodes within four hours, as well as Sunday delivery. In some parts of London, the retailer also offers one-hour delivery – a service launched in 2016 – which it has since expanded to a further 70,000 London postcodes, extending the reach of its Chop Chop service – of up to 25 items – to more than 1.7m customers.
Sainsbury’s claims to be the first UK supermarket to offer one-hour delivery and, last summer, it became the first to offer sub one-hour collection when it launched a trial on 30-minute click and collect from its Pimlico store for users of the Chop Chop app. This summer it trialled a scheme at its Clapham North store allowing shoppers to scan their goods and leave. Payment is made via Apple Pay on the SmartShop app.
Sainsbury’s Group Chief Digital Officer, Clodagh Moriarty has noted, “Technology and changing customer shopping habits have transformed the way people buy their groceries. Our teams are constantly working hard to bring new, convenient shopping experiences to customers and we’re delighted to be the first grocery retailer in the UK to offer customers the ability to shop checkout-free.”