Morrisons enters online grocery market

Morrisons has entered the online grocery market today by bringing in e-commerce capability to its website for the first time in its history.

Morrisons

The updated Morrisons.com site has been developed in-house. It means that deliveries will begin across much of the midlands by 10 January, and the supermarket aims to have half of the country covered by 2015.

Morrisons is hoping the new site will reflect its in-store brand values, and says, ‘With the Morrisons.com Virtual Butcher, for example, customers can choose how thickly their steak is cut.’

The move follows the supermarket’s announcement in May that it had struck a long-term agreement with Ocado for home deliveries.

In May we reported that Morrisons is paying an initial £170 million to Ocado to acquire a delivery site in the Midlands, and will invest a further £46 million to upgrade the site.

Other supermarkets, such as Waitrose have been investing in in-store services which relate to online shopping such as ‘concierge-style welcome desks’ as a public interface for Waitrose.com shoppers, and ‘Click and Collect’ collection lockers off-site.

However a Morrisons’ spokesperson says that the new site capability will not be leading to any Morrisons in-store redesign to facilitate customer service for online shopping. 

Functionality on the Morrisons.com site includes The Expert Review, a rosette rating system that gives customers an ‘honest assessment’ of the quality and seasonality of every item of produce.  ‘The doorstep check’ allows customers to check the freshness of the products before they accept them.

Other features include delivery charges of £1, £3, or £5 depending on if delivery is at peak, off peak or standard time, and goods will be delivered within hours accuracy of an allocated time.

Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons, says, ‘This fresh food offer will be the closest thing on the internet to being in a store and selecting food yourself. Customers do have concerns about buying fresh food online and today we believe we’ve come up with the answer.’

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