In life, partners matter. Marks and Spencer knows this, evidenced by it recently acquiring half of Ocado Retail. The tie up allows Marks and Spencer to offer an online grocery delivery service for the first time, while Ocado customers gain access to Marks and Spencer’s range of produce. With the share of online grocery sales rising over the past five years from 4% to 7% of the total market, retailers are preparing themselves to claim a share of a pie set to be worth £19.8 billion in 2023.
Ocado’s strong digital acumen is set to be a boon for Marks and Spencer. The pureplayer’s website ranks second among 81 retailers across Europe, according to Gartner L2’s research. Ocado’s clear site structure allows Google to present users with a search bar and extended site links on branded keywords.
Ocado is one of a few tracked brands in the U.K. to facilitate multi-product search—digitizing an experience that is commonplace in store. A separate search bar exists adjacent to the main feature where shoppers can either type or paste in a list of items. All search results are displayed on the same page, with each product presented on its own row for easy scrolling, navigation and shopping. Indeed, Ocado witnessed 30% more visits to its multi-product search page over the analyzed timeframe, highlighting this function’s benefits to shoppers. While customers gain a more seamless experience, multi-product search has the potential to boost the average basket size. To further increase basket sizes, Ocado notifies shoppers of incomplete bundles offers during check-out; 16% of retailers now follow suit.
As more retailers establish or upgrade their existing e-commerce offering, it’s key to note that merely providing online grocery shopping is the basics; engaging customers for the long-term is for the innovators.