Ocado revealed its secret behind its sales surge
The big deal is the group's continuing rise in sales and expansion of its customer base. It is also racking up massive revenue growth and creating a whole heap of technology that it can hive off and sell on to other businesses should it wish.
New customer growth rose by 30% year-on-year, bringing its customer base to 471,000. The way Ocado has gathered more people is pretty impressive and has clearly paid off. Here are some of its tactics:It targeted vegetarians and broadened its product range: It gives customers a massive choice of products, which now stand at 45,000 stock keeping units (SKU) - or items. Out of these, 650 are vegetarian and vegan products. That's a lot in one place. It even won a host of awards for this.
It started selling slimming products: non-food sale items rocketed by 80%. It said sales of sports nutrition and slimming products was the largest category in its non-food sector.
It makes sure that a bulk of Ocado shopping baskets are the cheaper than its competitors: It revealed that over 70% of our customers' baskets were already cheaper at Ocado.
It makes sure its mobile technology is amazing: Over 50% of orders were checked out using a mobile device and its latest apps and browsers. It even launched an Apple Watch app.
However, statutory profit before tax fell to £7.2 million ($11.3 million), from £7.5 million ($11.8 million) in the same period last year. Ocado admitted that it has also suffered from the intense British supermarket pricing war which is being led by German budget grocers Aldi and Lidl.
"The channel shift towards online grocery shopping continued during the period, with the broader grocery market remaining characterised by intense price competition and deflationary pressures," said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado in a statement. "Against this backdrop, our relentless focus on customer satisfaction continues to drive customer numbers and like-for-like sales ahead of the online grocery market."The resilience of our business model and increasing operational leverage also mean that we have grown operating profit despite these industry headwinds. Our continuous commitment to constant innovation in technology not only allows us to give industry-leading service to our customers at home but to offer our end-to-end platform solution to retailers outside the UK."