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Waitrose set for major e-commerce marketing drive

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Upmarket grocer Waitrose will be launching its largest marketing scheme to date before the end of the week, drawing attention to its newly rebranded website and high levels of customer service.

The supermarket group changed its online offering from Waitrose Deliver to Waitrose.com in March this year as part of a £10 million redevelopment programme, but is set to promote its online services nationwide for the first time.

From July 1st 2011 the agreement the company had in place with Ocado that restricts the marketing of its website in London will have ended, allowing Waitrose to directly compete with its online grocery rival in terms of advertising space in England’s capital.

Ocado has a long-running contract to sell Waitrose products to its customers, but the latter’s decision to ramp up its internet shopping offering and provide free delivery could leave the e-tailer struggling for market share.

Retail analysts have suggested that Ocado will need to find a point of difference if it is to compete with Waitrose online, although the only-only business will have been encouraged by sales and profit growth experienced in recent weeks.

The Waitrose e-commerce campaign has already started outside London, and will run across the UK for the next ten weeks incorporating direct mail, emails, door drops, online display advertising and point of sale ads in store.

Commenting earlier this month, Waitrose Director of E-commerce Robin Phillips said: “Our research shows that customer service is of paramount importance to our online shoppers.

“Our new campaign highlights that through our Partners, customers receive the quality and value they enjoy from shopping at Waitrose with the added convenience and service provided online.

“It is underpinned by a new strapline for Waitrose.com - ‘We shop like you shop’ - showing how shopping online with us is every bit as good as doing it yourself.”

Published on Wednesday 29 June by Editorial Assistant

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