UK supermarket introduces same-day click & collect service to offer new shopping convenience service in partnership with London transport authority
The service, which the grocery retailer claims is a world first, will offer customer same-day ordering (before noon) and collection of Asda products from their home station after 4pm. The first participating TfL stations will be East Finchley, Harrow and Wealdstone, High Barnet, Highgate, Stanmore and Epping.
The move comes just days after Asda set out its five-year strategic priorities, which included a major push into the London and South East market where it has lower awareness and fewer stores than its competitors.
Increasing regional competitive presence
The retailer also said the expansion of its click & collect services will play a central role in increasing physical access to its products in this region from 53% today to 70% by 2018, with over 1,000 new sites planned including at Underground Station car parks.
After five years of recession and soaring house prices in the capital, Asda believes that demand for its service will grow quickly as customers won’t have to pay premium prices to subsidise city centre retail space.
“Customers in the South East tell us that they want the prices and quality provided by Asda value but they can’t access it easily. This tie-up with TfL solves that,” said Mark Ibbotson, Asda retail director.
“We’ve led the way in click & collect by bringing Asda to where customers are rather than expecting them to come to us. From park and ride locations to business parks, now London Underground station car parks are another significant step on that journey.
“We believe customers will value the convenience of collecting shopping at their home tube station rather than carrying the products bought in premium convenience stores on their commute home.”
The technology has been developed together with Walmart labs in California, part of Asda’s parent company. And it follows a similar, successful operation in Nottingham at a Park and Ride facility and at Green Park business park in Reading, where Asda said commuters and local customers have welcomed the service.
Ordering will be available seven days a week with customers able to order from a laptop, tablet or smartphone via Asda.com or the Asda App to access fresh food and groceries, general merchandise and George clothing.
Wider service processes innovation
If the initial click & collect locations at London Underground station car parks are successful, Asda added that will seek to extend the scheme into other areas of London and the South East. The retailer is also working on developing other formats and collection locations across London and the South East.
Neil Kinson, vice president of IT process automation technology company Redwood Software
in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) commented that retailers are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to make shopping easier and more convenient. “Asda’s same-day click & collect service at tube stations provides exactly that,” he said.
“However, in order to be successful, services like this require just as much innovation in the back end as they do at the front,” he added. “By using tightly automated processes to keep everything running smoothly, businesses can ensure that the right stock is in the right place, at the right time and that the supply chain works as efficiently as possible.
Kinson concluded: “If customers are to enjoy a seamless shopping experience, collaboration across both sides of the business will be vital, especially as retailers feel the strain in the demanding festive period.”