Considering the results of our autumn online survey alongside our summer shop in July it seems that the major supermarket chains are in danger of losing ground to Tesco in the web arena in the same way that they have at their brick and mortar operations.
Only Ocado, which won The Grocer Gold Award for Online Retailer of the Year in June, came close to offering the same high standards of customer satisfaction as Tesco.
We asked our online shoppers to order the same list of items as it appears in The Grocer 33 this week. Overall our shoppers had few problems with the ordering process.
This is is becoming a feature of our survey as online shopping becomes increasingly the norm and retailers gain greater experience of offering a service that consumers expect.
Having said this, our Waitrose shopper said that she found the search engine could have been better. She explained that she had to be very specific in order to find exactly what she was looking for.
Our Tesco shopper, on the other hand, had no such problems. Although he was an experienced online shopper, this was his first time using Tesco.com. He found the site easy to navigate and praised the facility which allowed the shopper to include extra details on addresses which could be hard to locate.
On top of this the delivery arrived on time and included all 33 items as ordered.
Ocado also left our shopper feeling good this week after a positive shopping experience.
He received 32 of the items he ordered and just one substitution. Instead of own label smooth peanut butter 340g, which was out of stock, he was given a 227g jar of own label smooth organic peanut butter.
The delivery was early as the driver phoned ahead to see if this would be suitable, and he was happy to take the time to explain Ocado’s sorting of goods into bags marked for fridge, freezer and cupboards.
Our Sainsbury shopper was much less satisfied with her delivery. She heard nothing from Sainsbury during the two-hour delivery slot, only to be called after the time of the slot had elapsed to be informed that her order would be with her within 45 minutes. In the end it did not arrive for a further hour. This seriously inconvenienced our shopper who was forced to miss an important appointment while waiting for her shopping to arrive.
When it did get eventually get there, our shopper found an extra 4-pint carton of milk, while Sainsbury also substituted a low fat variety of the Mini Babybel cheese on our shopping list.
Waitrose also missed its delivery slot this time round. This was by just five minutes, however it did have a two-hour window.
Availability was the key problem for Asda. On top of one out of stock, for which no substitution was provided,