Waitrose launches online grocery campaign to take on Ocado

Waitrose is launching its biggest ever marketing push for its online grocery arm as it prepares to compete against Ocado for the lucrative London home delivery market.

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An agreement between the two companies that prevented Waitrose from expanding its online business into the M25 area ends on 1 July. About 50% of Ocado’s sales come from within the London area.

The new campaign centres around Waitrose.com’s “we shop like you shop” tailored customer service proposition, such as being able to specify the ripeness of fruit or the thickness of a cut of meat. Advertising will also focus on the fact that the website offers free delivery on orders over £50.

The campaign will feature on Waitrose delivery vans, direct mail, emails, door drops, online display and POS in branches.

Activity will roll out from the end of June outside London and will extend into the capital from July when the agreement with Ocado that restricts marketing within the M25 expires.

The Waitrose.com website was rebranded from Waitrose Deliver earlier this year as part of a £10m revamp to rapidly expand its online sales business over the next 10 years.

Under the 10 year deal agreed between the two companies last year, Ocado will retain rights to sell Waitrose goods, using its branding, until 2020. The terms prevent Ocado from commercial partnerships with other supermarkets.

Other supermarkets have also ramped up their online delivery offers in recent months. Sainsbury’s is planning to double the size of its click and collect service while former head of Tesco.com, Laura Wade-Gery, joined Marks and Spencer to lead its home delivery division, earlier this year.

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