Tesco wants to link web and high street

Tesco wants to link web and high street

Strategy helps sales increase 35 per cent

Tesco.com sales increased 35 per cent to £748m in the first half of the year.

Profits were also up by 62 per cent to £55m, confirming the site’s position as the UK’s second most popular online retail destination.

A key element of the firm’s strategy is to create strong links between its internet and store services, according to head of marketing Kendra Banks.

Customer research has shown that shoppers want the various retail channels to be linked together as much as possible, she said.

“The online experience has to reflect our core values – being simple, cheap and easy to use – and we measure the web site against the standards upheld in stores,” said Banks.

Tesco is introducing a number of measures to improve the integration between its online and high street services.

The firm is setting up “order and collect” desks in store, so shopping done online can be picked up in the supermarket.

And customers can register their loyalty card details on the retailer’s web site so that preferred items from the 72,000 available products are easier to find.

The company is also exploring the use of interactive Web 2.0 technologies to bring the “community feel” of local stores to the internet.

“We are trying to personalise electronic communications and what is seen on the web to suit each customer,” said Banks.

The links between online and offline brands should not be overlooked, according to Banks.

The fact that the retailer’s rise in web sales has not been matched by the slump on the high street establishes the internet as a complementary rather than a conflicting channel, she said.

And Tesco customer satisfaction surveys show that a positive online experience improves the public’s view of the retailer offline, and encourages them back to supermarket shopping.