Waitrose puts a lot of energy and investment in research as a strategy of ensuring that it always has an edge over its competitors in the market. Two types of shopping have been found to be points of emphasis. These are secondary and one stop hopping.
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Waitrose as would be expected faces a lot of competition in its niche of market. Some of its major competitors include Wegmans, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Asda, and HE Butt in the United States and Somerfield.These are the main competitors particularly in the area of online shopping.
Waitrose launched an online organic product service which allows customers to buy online have their produce delivered to them. Their website allows customers to register with them and be able to do their shopping from the comfort of their homes. It has managed to restore confidence in its buyers about online shopping security by being innovative; they allow customers to swipe their own items and use hand print identification to ensure security.
Most competition on online shopping therefore is based on innovation and security of client money. Wegmans for instance has come up with a new feature that allows shoppers to develop a shopping list online while spotting saving and filling a feed back form. This allows them to go to the stores while sure of how much they will spend.
Wegmans also allows users to for example check out recipes online and buy the ingredients in their recommended amounts. This innovative venture ensures convenience and a free service (online recipes) and helps retain customers.
HE Butt on the other hand uses OneClip.com to facilitate their online shopping. Research has shown that OneClip.com sales increased rapidly with introduction of their one clip coupons (Prevor 2008). HE Butt also gives the customers the option to have their goods delivered. This enables them to counter Waitrose’s after sales service
Morrisons have invested in keeping their clients and partners very informed about their services, location and offers. This has been enhanced even more by use of a very wide and informative website. Their website is very detailed in terms of service provision, their location and any due offers.
Asda, another competitor in the retail business, has a different strategy. They base almost all of their promotions on pricing. Their main marketing tool is making all perceive them as the store with the lowest prices. This is a good reputation because it attracts low end consumers who form majority of most populations.
It however has a negative effect on the upper and high class clients because they hold class dear to them and would not like to be associated with ‘cheap’. These promotions are advertised o their shopping sites and attract lower end users.
Sainsbury have recently set up strategies to attract farmers. They introduced anew and wide range of fresh produce available online. They also have innovative by developing an online catalogue that allows users to check out and purchase their products by a click of the mouse.
In general therefore, online shopping competition is centred around innovation and bringing the service as close to the customer as possible. Mainly assurance of security and convenience score for which chain taps the most market.
List of references
Prevor, J P. 2008, Wegmans Phasing Out Tobacco, Perishable Pundit, available at http://www.perishablepundit.com/index.php?date=01/08/08&pundit=2 [06 March 2010].