Monday 14 February 2011

I'm falling in love with Ocado

It may be that I'm getting caught up in the general romantic atmosphere that prevails today (and I thought that I was past all that!) but I think that I am falling in love with Ocado.

Can you fall in love with an online grocer you may ask?  Well... maybe not, but they are certainly ticking as many of my boxes as it is possible for an online grocer to do, and my wife is becoming increasingly jealous of the way I talk about them so maybe we can have a future together...

Ok, so maybe I've over-played it slightly but I've just seen another great example of why Ocado seems to "get" mobile and is integrating it into their activity so nicely.  I've already talked about their use of SMS notifications, to remind their customers about a delivery and advise them of the details of the delivery (including the driver's name and the van they'll be driving).  They were also one of the first retailers off the mark in releasing transactional apps for the iPhone (store) and Android (store) devices.  In fact, considering the general service and quality of the food (I'm sure covered in blogs/articles elsewhere) the one blemish that I can note is their lack of a mobile optimised site - they have retired their 'lite' site, stating that because of "huge improvements in mobile technology" most customers shop with Ocado "via our main Ocado website".  

I think that this is a bit of a missed trick as a mobile site would better, and more appropriately, support the mid and lower range smartphones.  Certainly, they realistically have the majority of their potential mobile traffic (and indeed revenue) tied up with the iPhone/Android apps and yes, other phones can use the main website, but it would be good to see a mobile optimised site nonetheless.

Anyway, the latest tick in one of my boxes came along this afternoon:

An Ocado delivery truck, with an SMS call-to-action, whereby new users can get £15 off their first shop.

Sure enough I gave it a go and received an SMS back with a unique code that can be redeemed online.  A simple mechanic to set up, executed nicely, and driving new users from ATL to online and with tracking of unique codes to prevent mal-redemption and ongoing analysis.

Doesn't it make you wonder why more companies don’t do the same...? 


  1. Ocado delivery what a joke! Booked deliver y on Friday for late pm Saturday. Had a text to say they were running late at 5 pm and they would keep us informed. We rang them at 10.50 pm and their driver said they could only offer to deliver in 4 hours time!!!!! 2.50 am? I don't think so! Their call centre said they could not deliver this morning [too many already booked and clearly having been let down we weren't their top priority! No managers to speak to - probably they were in a meeting! Best they could offer was Monday! Their 'Manager' called us back this morning and apparently their driver had cancelled our order anyway! It appears Ocado knew they had a problem on Friday morning but did nothing to warn their customers. This is really not good enough and the whole thing was dealt with VERY badly. Wont be using Ocado or recommending them again.