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What does online ordering mean for our grocers?

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In today’s Internet Retailing newsletter we have the latest from Sainsbury’s, now close to turning over £1bn a year from online grocery orders, from Morrisons, which reported a dip in first quarter sales this week and is deep in talks about its own online grocery service, set for launch next January, and from Ocado, which says it isn’t being bought by Morrisons but may help it launch that service. We also report on M&S, as it updates its supply chain for a multichannel future, and on Next, where the internet is making up for falling store sales.

What unites these stories is the illustration that they give of why multichannel is so important to grocers and other retailers alike. For the supermarkets in particular, online groceries are not yet a major part of the market. ONS figures show that in January, for example, online food orders were only 3.7% of all food sales. However, it’s a figure that’s growing fast: that 3.7% was 27.1% higher than the previous year. And, as Sainsbury’s pointed out in its figures, multichannel customers are just more profitable. Those customers who spend with it across three channels spend twice as much.

Elsewhere, we have news of how retail sales looked in April, reaction to the proposed Consumer Rights Bill, mooted in this week’s Queen’s Speech. Today’s guest comment is from Phil McGriskin, of WorldPay, who considers the international future of multichannel retailing, and how payments will fit into that.

Thanks to those of you who took the time to nominate retailers ahead of the Internet Retailing Awards. We’ll have news soon of our lucky ticket winners. There’s also news here of the event itself, where tickets are now available to book.

And a reminder that it’s catch up time for anyone who missed that vital briefing at Internet Retailing Expo (2013). Presentations and panels from the across the six conferences of the event, the workshops and Innovation TV Studio are now available to view online at

Jumpstart events

Internet Retailing’s signature JumpStart events offer a chance for retailers to get quickly up to speed on the latest developments in a given area, hearing directly from expert suppliers and identifying and presenting the key questions retailers need to ask when procuring their own systems. Each full-morning event is held in Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London and you can register to attend here.

Multichannel performance marketing is the subject for May 15’s event. From the outset, digital marketing has been focused on performance: whether PPC and affiliates, or vouchers and promotions. The focus of this session is to draw together the various disciplines within marketing and consider not only the individual performance characteristics, but importantly the multichannel view of customer profitability. Find out more and register to attend here.

On May 29, International and cross border trade is under examination. UK companies are seeing significant growth from trading internationally (outside the EU) and cross border (within the EU) and it’s never been easier to extend your online trading. Presenters at the Jumpstart will highlight the areas of concern, the pitfalls to avoid, as well as new opportunities in an event that will feature leading vendors in areas from multilingual to localisation, from payments to local customs and from logistics to usability.Find out more and register to attend here.

Cross-channel is the subject for the JumpStart event of June 5, where the focus will be on the customer, how they use as many touch points and channels as we’re willing and able to offer and how we combine behavioural data with service values, technology, people and process to deliver for them. Delegates will take away ideas, examples and case studies to extend selling activities beyond the web interface. Find out more and register to attend here.

The customer experience is in focus for the event of June 19, when we’ll be looking at how to provide an enhanced customer experience, not only optimising each channel but also considering how to bridge the experience over time and across channels. Topics will include interaction design, service planning, testing and customer service, delivery and logistics, and extend to how best practice analytics and behavioural tracking can help us towards that elusive ‘single view of the customer’ in order to sell more effectively. Find out more and register to attend here.

Today’s stories

Sainsbury’s annual online grocery sales near £1bn, and still growing by 20% a year

Morrisons’ multichannel development ‘on track’; plus latest from Ocado

M&S launches distribution centre ‘fit for a multichannel future’

GUEST COMMENT: Ecommerce knowledge vital to Government’s growth plans

Ecommerce sales grew in April, with boost to mobile spending, despite fall in high street spending: figures

Broad welcome for the mooted consumer rights bill, highlighted in this week’s Queen’s Speech

Next reports sales hike thanks to its internet business

Read More

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