Supermarket firm Morrisons should learn from the mistakes of its rivals to develop an effective grocery retailing web site, according to e-commerce experts.
The supermarket giant has announced it is considering developing an online grocery service but it is lagging behind its main competitors Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, which have well-established sites.
However, some experts say Morrisons could do a much better job.
“I’ve used a fair few of the current online sites, and none of them really stand out,” said Simon Bird, technical director at digital marketing agency DotDigital. “The navigation is often terrible, and none of them seem to have a logical layout. Even Ocado, which is one of the better sites, is difficult to navigate.” Flexibility to customer needs and ease of use for a variety of age groups were also important, Bird said.
He added: “Now Amazon is selling groceries with free delivery, Morrisons should think about whether it should do the same.”
Internet and e-commerce consultant Emma Kane of iknowthe.net said: “They should make sure their system is really flexible in terms of delivery. Other sites have sometimes had problems with delivery slots, particularly next-day delivery, because of a lack of vans.”
Morrisons could benefit from entering the online grocery market behind its rivals, Kane added: “The other supermarkets have had five or six years to develop their web sites. Morrisons can piggyback on to a lot of what they’ve learned in that time.”
Morrisons revealed its plans as it published its interim results to 1 August. The supermarket group also revealed it will invest £310m in IT across the business over the next six years, replacing all its core systems and technology.
The group has already replaced its payroll, HR and financial systems, renewed most store hardware and installed voice-picking technology implemented in its grocery and frozen distribution centres.
Morrisons said it will roll out a new electronic point-of-sale system between now and 2012. It is also introducing new software for its distribution and food production centres following successful pilot schemes.