Wednesday 12 February 2020 6:00 am

How should Waitrose move on as Ocado deal comes to an end?

Supermarket chain Waitrose has announced an overhaul of its products and a new advertising campaign to retain customers this summer when its deal with delivery provider Ocado comes to an end.

Ocado’s partnership with Waitrose comes to an end in August, and a new deal with Marks & Spencer will be delivered shortly after. As a result, the supermarket giant has announced a “charm offensive” to keep customers loyal — but how should the retailer best focus its efforts?

Waitrose has already brought in experts to help boost its online operations, which will prove vital as shoppers will now need to use Waitrose’s own website to order online.

YouGov data shows that nearly a fifth of Waitrose customers shop online just as much — if not more — than in bricks and mortar stores.

As part of the charm offensive the supermarket is also working on updating or adding 5,000 new products to the 17,000 it currently offers, and has launched a new advertising campaign entitled “You can taste when it’s Waitrose & Partners” which promotes the quality of its ingredients.

This is likely to go over well with existing customers, as YouGov Profiles data reveals Waitrose shoppers are looking for marks of high quality items, such as free-range or local produce, when they do their shopping.

While Waitrose and M&S shoppers are on a par when it comes to considering free range produce, Waitrose shoppers are more likely to be on the lookout for sustainable products, with half saying that they are likely to consider sustainably-produced or fishes products compared to 36 per cent of M&S shoppers.

Waitrose customers are also more likely to consider products that are fairtrade than M&S shoppers, with 46 per cent saying that seeing the logo would make them consider buying a product.

Waitrose’s focus on quality and freshness won’t just help them retain current customers. YouGov data shows Ocado customers have similar views — they may well be swayed from Ocado by the brand’s charm offensive come summer time.

Stephan Shakespeare is chief executive
of YouGov

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