Morrisons unveils mobile strategy

Morrisons is making its first major digital push by launching a mobile-enabled website and an iPhone app in a bid to take advantage of the growing use of smartphones and mobile devices for grocery shopping.

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The supermarket has been slow to enter the mobile space; rivals Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Ocado already have a significant presence in the mobile arena.

It is also the only one of the big four supermarkets that doesn’t offer a nationwide online grocery operation.

Morrisons’ new CEO, Dalton Phillips, vowed to put innovation at the heart of future growth when he outlined his vision for the supermarket in September.

The news comes as separate reports from retail research specialist IGD and Deloitte reveal that smartphone apps and mobile devices are driving growth in online retail.

Deloitte predicts that online retail will account for 20% of the total retail market in the next decade, while IGD says online grocery is set to double to almost £10bn in the next five years, boosted by mobile developments that make it easier to shop on the go.

Tesco is the only supermarket that has a full mobile strategy, with iPhone and smartphone apps as well as a mobile commerce site.

Morrisons’ entry into mobile leaves Asda as the only one of the big four without a presence in it.

Asda is expected to follow suit next year. A spokeswoman says it has a number of “interesting [mobile] projects in the pipeline” to build on the increasing popularity of mobile technology among its customers.

Sainsbury’s, which has already launched an iPhone app in partnership with its loyalty scheme provider Nectar, is expected to ramp up its activity next year with a web platform enabled for mobile handsets.

It says it is “looking to roll out further mobile services across different devices and platforms”.

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