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Mobile app sales help Ocado to double digit growth

Mobile app sales help Ocado to double digit growth

Online retailer improves customer experience with upgrades to front and back end systems

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An increase in mobile apps transactions has helped Ocado attain double digit sales growth, with mobile device checkouts accounting for more than a quarter of its sales.

In its full year results for 2012, Ocado reported that total sales grew 13.9 percent compared to the previous year, reaching £731.9 million.  The company also highlighted that 28 percent of customer transactions now go through its 'Ocado on the Go' apps, supported by all major mobile operating systems. 

The growth in mobile app sales came as Ocado launched a series of initiatives aimed at creating a more convenient and customer-friendly online shopping experience.    This included setting up a customer text message service to enable more accuracy in delivery times, as well as a real time order tracking system.

"Shopping online for groceries is clearly of increasing importance to consumers," said Tim Steiner, Chief Executive Officer of Ocado.  "In 2013, we will continue to improve the attractiveness of Ocado to customers and we shall substantially increase our capacity with the opening of our second fulfilment centre, creating over 1,000 jobs in the Midlands."

Ocado also introduced a new service to enable customers to login to its website using Facebook accounts. According to a report from analysts Gartner this week, registration for retail sites through social networks is set to account for more than half of all new registrations within the next three years. Customers can also make purchases through the BBC Good Food recipe website.

In its financial statement the company said that its commitment to using proprietary IP and technology has helped introduce the range of customer-facing services during 2012, as well as the introduction of a new customer fulfilment centre (CFC) in Warwickshire.   

Systems testing at the centre began during the summer, ahead of going live at the end of February.

"Maintaining and growing technology leadership in systems, processes and equipment supports our market leading proposition to customers and drives operational excellence," the financial statement read.

"In 2012 we have continued to develop our suite of IP with many technology improvements across the business from improved user interfaces on our website and mobile apps, to real time simulations of our CFCs to improve operations and flow analysis."

Ocado also noted that the number of active customers using its retail deliver service grew to 355,000, up from 298,000 at the start of the year.  

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