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Sainsbury’s: speed and flexibility

Sainsbury’s SUCCESSFUL MULTICHANNEL of enabling shoppers to buy whenever, however and wherever they want applies to its delivery, collection and returns services just as it does to the ordering process. InternetRetailing research shows that the grocer offers speedy delivery and collection – as fast as same-day in the 29 stores where this service has initially been trialled and, more widely, next-day delivery. It has a pragmatic approach to price, charging an average £4 for online delivery, with a minimum spend of £25, while offering deals through peak and off-peak delivery passes that reward those who buy most often. A generous returns policy sees it offer a full refund for a full year, and a partial payment after a year, where a product is damaged.

A dedicated online fulfilment centre in East London, set up to meet demand from the capital, supports its e-delivery offer.

Sainsbury’s reports that its multichannel approach delivered strong growth both online and through its convenience stores in the year to the end of March 2016. Chairman David Tyler said in full-year results that its strategy “recognises that customers will increasingly shop through multiple channels and according to their varying needs”. He added: “Our business will continue to evolve and adapt to changing shopping needs, ensuring that we exceed customer expectations in an increasingly fast-paced, digital world.”

Speaking ahead of InternetRetailing and eDelivery Expo, Dave Crellin, Sainsbury’s head of online operations development, explained to our sister website how his team works within the business: “In such a changing and competitive industry we’re always running a stream of projects and programmes to improve efficiency and capacity, or to further develop our customer service and offer.”

He added: “We work alongside pretty much every other part of the business to make sure we’re aligned on what we’re doing for our customers,” Since InternetRetailing completed its research in this Dimension, Sainsbury’s has finalised its acquisition of Argos owner Home Retail Group, giving it additional flexibility in its delivery services. Since the deal, Sainsbury’s has announced the launch of 200 new digital collection points in its stores ahead of the Christmas period. Customers will be able to use them to collect Tu clothing, Argos products, goods they bought via eBay as well as parcels from DPD – all at the same time as they complete their supermarket shop.

At the time of the announcement, Sainsbury’s group chief executive Mike Coupe said: “The acquisition of Home Retail Group will accelerate our multi-product, multichannel strategy”. He said the opening of the new digital collection points, added to 15 Argos Digital stores that are opening in Sainsbury’s stores, would mean that “customers can shop 90,000 products whenever and wherever they want”.

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