Ocado says 55% of transactions now over mobile
Ocado said that more than half of its orders were checked out using mobile devices, as it today reported double-digit sales growth in its latest half-year figures.
Some 55% of orders were checked out using a smartphone or tablet computer in the 24 weeks to May 15. Over the same period, said the online grocer, sales of £582.9m were 13.9% up on the same time last year. Pre-tax profits climbed to £8.5m from £7.2m last time. However, the average Ocado.com basket declined in value by 2.2% to £110.10, as a result of price deflation.
More than half of sales came from customers who have an Ocado Smart Pass – a membership scheme that includes free delivery. "Membership," said chief executive Tim Steiner in his statement, "helps to drive customer loyalty, shopping frequency and ultimately total spend per customer."
Chief executive Tim Steiner said he had been encouraged by steady progress in the business, a Top100 company in IRUK Top500
research. "The market remains competitive with ongoing price deflation but our increasing scale and operational efficiencies meant that we still grew profits, albeit at a slower rate.
"We have been gaining share in the online grocery market and expect this to continue. The last few years have shown beyond doubt that British shoppers are choosing the benefits of grocery shopping online and we believe that the momentum of channel shift away from bricks and mortar stores will continue. The more opportunities customers have to try grocery shopping online, the more they will be attracted to Ocado's superior customer offer."
Making no reference to the EU referendum, he added: "Sales growth continues at pace and the productivity of our operations is improving. We have the technology, the brand and the financial resources to build on our leading position and look forward to the future with confidence."
Ocado said its beauty business, in partnership with Marie Claire, was now expected to launch in the second half of this year. "We believe the high quality of service delivered by our technology and logistics platform combined with the awareness and relevance of the Marie Claire brand, should make this an attractive shopping destination for customers," said Steiner.