As part of a major expansion plan for the online business, Tesco has set out its vision for the £2bn-turnover web operation.
In a series of recruitment ads for new online roles, Tesco said it was "embarking on a major expansion plan" and wanted "shopping online to be considered better than shopping in-store by the broadest possible set of customers".
Tesco also said it wanted 25% greater productivity in picking, delivery and head office operations, as well as slashing complaints by 50%, particularly around freshness, substitutions and missing items. It wants to minimise wasted hours in-store by improving support and understanding by staff, as well as increasing deliveries at times that suit more customers.
In one ad, for an operations development manager, it outlined plans to have five dotcom-only stores operating at the same profitability as standard operations. It currently has two so-called 'dark stores' but plans to open one a year from this year.
One analyst said Tesco's focus on the internet was helping to improve sales densities. "Tesco is struggling for like-for-like growth but the internet is one area that can provide a bit of a boost. Pickers in-store are likely to be a lot more efficient than a regular shopper."
Tesco said the vision of making online shopping better than coming into stores was its way of engaging its dotcom staff to deliver a "significant programme of change".
Ocado said the strategy fitted with a long-term view of retail. "It makes sense that Tesco should look to surge people online from traditional store shopping as the market is forecast to double in the next five years," said an Ocado spokesman. "History shows that every 20 to 30 years a new and efficient way of retailing comes along; online is that next change. We have more customers than ever since January."