A year on, sales are storming as the retailer attracts ever-increasing numbers of customers to its site.
During the 2011/12 financial year1, sales through Waitrose.com rose by 29.2 per cent (34.5 per cent increase in orders) and growth continues to accelerate with sales for the 2012/13 financial year so far up 36.8 per cent. Last week alone, sales for the seven days were 48.4 per cent higher than the equivalent week in 2011, coinciding with the website launch.
And the retailer experienced its strongest online Christmas yet, with sales through Waitrose.com in the seven days to Christmas 2011 up 49 per cent (and orders grew 68 per cent).
In October last year, Waitrose further stepped up its presence in the online grocery shopping market with the opening of its first Dotcom Fulfilment Centre in Acton, West London, to dispatch online orders to shoppers in the Capital2. The Centre, which created over 200 new jobs for the area, has become Waitrose’s largest food-only branch. It is handling thousands of orders every week, with one in five Waitrose.com orders now in London, and order volumes continue to grow.
Since the new site launched, Kantar Worldpanel data has consistently highlighted Waitrose.com as the fastest growing online retailer3.
Waitrose.com continues to be the only grocery website to offer customers all-year-round free delivery for all orders over £50.
Robin Phillips, Director, E-Commerce, said: “Our online platform has played an important role in attracting more people to shop with us over the past year as well as encouraging customers to shop using more than one channel. Not only has it provided the foundation for an immediate step change in our online business, the investment has also set us up for rapid expansion in e-commerce sales over the next decade.
“We continue to focus on enhancing our multi-platform offer - including enabling our customers to shop with us using mobile devices for the first time later this year.”
Launch of Waitrose.com:
Online grocery service formerly known as WaitroseDeliver rebranded as Waitrose.com.
Contemporary and intuitive site designed to offer a seamless, consistent shopping experience across all Waitrose online channels including wine, flowers and gift ordering, HomeDirect, WaitroseEntertaining.
Quicker and easier grocery ordering - customers can simply and quickly navigate their way around cheese, fish, meat and delicatessen service counters, as well as choosing from the full range of Waitrose own-label and branded items.
Designed to give the same high standard of service for which Waitrose shops are renowned - customers can request ‘personal touches’ such as green bananas or extra-thick slices of ham from the delicatessen counter.
More delivery slots added for the times when customer demand is high, such as weekends - and delivery drivers offer to carry shopping right into the kitchen.
1) In the 2011/12 financial year. Waitrose.com played an important role in the retailer experiencing 400,000 more transactions a week compared to the previous year, as customers shopped across all channels.
2) Waitrose.com is now available from 152 branches, and a further 53 are serviced by the Dotcom Fulfilment Centre in Acton.
3) Kantar Worldpanel data for the 12 weeks to 19 February shows Waitrose online growth at 31.2 per cent, ahead of total online grocery market growth of 18.9 per cent.