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Feeding the nation

  • Offering: Customer-Led Growth
  • Main Headline: Designing and launching a profitable online grocery offer for an iconic and famously cost conscious retail brand.
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The challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the grocery retail industry, necessitating significant adaptations to meet evolving consumer behaviors and needs. One notable trend that has emerged is the surge in online channels, with Click & Collect services becoming increasingly popular.

This presented a challenge for our client, a prominent multinational retailer known for its low-cost operating model, which traditionally did not align with conventional eCommerce strategies. As the market rapidly evolved, our client sought to compete globally while maintaining efficiency and effectiveness, thus posing a unique challenge.​

The objective was to create a seemingly impossible proposition: an online grocery business that could generate profits with limited-to-no capital expenditure and minimal disruption to the existing in-store operations. Furthermore, there was a tight deadline of 12 weeks to launch this brand-new service.

The approach

The emphasis on efficiency and affordability motivated the exploration of multiple designs simultaneously:

Mission 1: Accessible basics
Provide vulnerable households with access to grocery staples during the stressful early days of the pandemic. We designed a grocery box proposition that could be offered nearly immediately and fulfilled via 3rd party logistics. Launched nationally in 3 weeks.

Mission 2: Rapid access to critical products
A rapid delivery partnership with Deliveroo to allow customers in urban areas to replenish their most important products, and put meals on the table. Helped us trial early designs of an in-store fulfillment service. Launched in supported locations in 6 weeks.

Mission 3: The big shop
A cost-effective way for the retailer to allow consumers to complete their weekly grocery shop online (eGrocery B2C platform) and minimise the impact of social distancing in-store (delivery via Click & Collect at parking lot); all whilst maintaining clear price leadership in the market. Launched as a trial in 16 weeks, then another 12 weeks to scale across hundreds of stores.

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The results

In 2020, a live Grocery Click and Collect service was successfully designed and implemented across our clients' stores in GB. This service was then expanded to stores in Ireland in 2021.

Additionally, the following achievements were made:

  • Created the ability to help millions of households keep safe and stocked up.
  • Ensured access to essential products and services for vulnerable individuals and households through clever design and a range of accessible services.
  • Launched a scalable, profitable eGrocery offering on limited investment.
  • Maintained market share, price leadership, and margin.

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Market Research, Customer Research, Customer Strategy

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