Sainsbury’s has revealed that it started rolling out an improved version of its online groceries website in September.
The website, which offers customers “faster and more intuitive product search and browse features”, as well as an improved recipes and ideas section, will be available nationwide by Easter 2014.
“The new website performs well on tablet devices, and has given us a strategic platform on which to build new functionality in future years,” the supermarket said in its interim results for the 28 weeks to 28 September 2013.
Sainsbury’s also reported that its online grocery sales are growing “at over 15 percent”, with annual turnover at more than £1 billion. It attributed the growth to its focus on customer service and product availability, and recently announced plans to open a dedicated online fulfilment centre in Bromley-by-Bow to meet the demand for its service in London and the South East.
“When fully operational, the new facility will allow us to serve an additional 20,000 customers each week,” the supermarket said.
Across the whole business, Sainsbury’s sales increased 4.4 percent to £13.9 billion in the period. The company highlighted the growing role that its multi-channel strategy is playing in its overall sales growth: “Where customers shop online and in supermarkets, their total spend is more than double the average supermarket-only shopper,” it said.
In recent months the company has upgraded its mobile shopping services following the launch of a mobile site in 2012, and last year announced increased investment in its IT systems to support its online services.
To improve its instore experience, Sainsbury’s said it has piloted a new Mobile Scan and Go service, which allows customers to scan their shopping using an app downloaded to their smartphone. The company said that a trial in four Sainsbury’s stores provided positive feedback from customers who said it helped them “stick to a budget”.
Sainsbury’s is set for greater competition in the online shopping space, as Morrisons launches its long-awaited service January 2014.