How should Waitrose focus its “charm offensive”?

February 12, 2020, 2:07 PM GMT+0

The supermarket 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 and Spencer will be delivered shortly after. As a result, Waitrose has announced a “charm offensive” to keep customers loyal – but how should the retailer best focus its efforts?

Waitrose has already brought in experts (including one of Ocado’s co-founders) 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 Profiles data shows that nearly a fifth (19%) of Waitrose shoppers shop online just as much, if not more, than heading to a bricks and mortar store.

The data also reveals that for half of Waitrose shoppers (50%) the primary reason for online shopping is that it’s faster, and for 47% it’s the larger choice of items on offer than in-store.

As part of the charm offensive (and to help appeal to that 47%) 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 (55%) and Marks and Spencer’s shoppers (54%) are on par when it comes to considering free range produce – Waitrose shoppers are more likely to be on the lookout for sustainable products with half (50%) saying that they are likely to consider sustainably-produced or fished products compared to 36% of Marks and Spencer’s shoppers. Waitrose customers are also more likely to consider products that are Fair Trade than Marks and Spencer’s shoppers, with 46% 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 however, as our data shows Ocado customers have similar views on product consideration and may well be swayed away from Ocado by the brand’s charm offensive come summer time.

Image: Getty

This article previously appeared in CityAM

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