Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
12 November 2008
Filed under:E-commerce at2:42 pm

I used to use Ocado a lot for my grocery shopping – not least because I got £10 to £20 off coupons for each delivery. Of course they couldn’t keep that up, so to my dismay the amount of the coupons has been shrinking and the minimum purchase to qualify has been rising. Their latest marketing wheeze has been to offer to match Tesco.com on prices of identical branded goods. And now as part of that I have received an email showing me that thanks to this policy lots of products are loads cheaper.

Am I just being contrary in taking away from that email that I’ve been a mug for paying what Ocado used to charge me for all those months and that I would be better off actually going to Tesco.com to get the cheaper prices direct from the source, (plus cheaper own-brand goods and probably more generous special offers)?

It isn’t so simple, of course – Tesco charges a minimum of £4 per delivery while Ocado delivers late at night for free and with more convenient 1/2 hour slots, and Ocado’s Waitrose own brand products may be better quality, so we may continue with them for a while, but their email campaign remains an own goal in my view.

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