Waitrose Deliver or WaitroseDeliver?Waitrose's marketing department show a tendency towards murdering the English language. essential Waitrose is one example, WaitroseDeliver is another. In developing the WaitroseDeliver brand, they have returned to Ancient Greece by not bothering to separate the words! But in October 2010 Google returned figures showing that waitrosedeliver was searched for 33,100 times, while waitrose deliver only did slightly better at 40,500.
I find this result remarkable. The Waitrose marketing department have forced a fair proportion of the British populace to suspend one of the most fundamental rules of English grammar. So full marks for marketing, but Dr Johnson must be spinning...
I'm in a quandary. Should I also suspend grammar? Should I write Waitrose Deliver or WaitroseDeliver? I admire good marketing, but I also admire good English. So I'll use both versions.
The Waitrose Deliver home page1 stresses the word my, another good ploy by the Waitrose marketeers. So you have links, in order, to My Favourites, My Trolley, and My Account.
I love that "ou" in Favourites, rather than the American "o". Nothing could better flag that this is a UK site - except having a co.uk domain!
Waitrose probably chose to use waitrosedeliver.com because of the perceived value that comes with using .com. They also own waitrosedeliver.co.uk, but it redirects to the .com.
There's a fairly even split between the big supermarkets as to whether they use a .com or .co.uk to announce themselves to the Google world. Do you want to brand yourself as a world player or a leading UK company? A question that must have given top-CEOs have a few sleepless nights... and they didn't produce a definitive answer.
Ocado is a an on-line retailer with close connections to Waitrose2. But it's an independent business, unlike Waitrose which is a subsidiary of the John Lewis Partnership. One connection comes from the fact that Ocado is partly owned by the John Lewis Partnership pension fund. An even greater common interest comes from Ocado selling Waitrose-brand groceries.
Ocado is purely warehouse based, but it doesn't operate everywhere. If you live in South East England, South Coast, Midlands, North West or Yorkshire, it might be worth your while comparing it to Waitrose.
In Nov 2008, the John Lewis Partnership transferred its 29% Ocado shareholding into its staff pension fund, and in May 2010 arranged a 10 year branding and supply agreement.
In July 2009, Ocado released an iPhone shopping app, and in April 2010 extended it to Android devices. This has features that the iPhone app does not have, including voice control.
Ocado have one, highly automated, central warehouse in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. The main job opportunities there are for picking staff, and for drivers - who get to drive custom-built Mercedes-Benz delivery vans. Ocado also have distribution warehouses, so lorries can deliver for part of the distance, but the goods are still packed for each customer at Hatfield.
"Ocado" is a made up word, supposed to be evocative of fresh fruit. As it's almost avocado, that would be posh fresh-fruit, I guess. One rejected name was Bean Runner, another was Fruit Passion. Perhaps it was a good decision to choose something pretty but meaningless!
Waitrose Deliver v. Ocado
There's a great debate raging on Mums net on the advantages of Waitrose Deliver over Ocado, and vice versa3. Some good points are being made, and other online shopping outlets are being brought into the comparison. Some key points:
- If you have a Tesco Clubcard, remember you can get points when shopping at Tesco Direct.
- As mentioned in the last section, Ocado don't deliver everywhere. But one mum points out that Ocado delivers in her neck of the woods, but WaitroseDeliver do not.
- One mum is thinking of tarting herself between the different perveyors, staying away long enough to get sent discount vouchers to lure her back. As long as she is not being literal, this seems like a good idea.
- The same tart... er, sorry, mum... says she detests Sainsbury's basics, but I have to agree with other mums who says some of the basic are good. Personally, I love the basics spaghetti boll. and detest the cottage pie. Still, essential Waitrose tens to be consistently better, if more expensive.
- WaitroseDeliver delivers goods from the store near to you. So if you have a nearby store then they should be quick, and if anything goes wrong you can march down there and complain loudly.
- Ocado is ecologically better as they deliver straight from the warehouse to you rather than to the store and then to you. This should also lead to lower costs and better use by dates, in a perfect world.
- Ocado have ocado-only offers that are cheaper than in-store.
- Waitrose deliver is wholly owned by partners, so all profits go to staff. Ocado's profits go to whoever owns it. So if you think the Partner model is the herald of a new and better world order, then the choice is obvious. If not, then you better start comparison shopping...
- The mums generally seem to think the Ocado web site is better - suck it and see. Ocado do have the big advantage of showing sell by dates on the web site.
- Ocado have the reputation of rarely substituting
- With Ocado you get a free copy of the Times, to help you in the fight against the new world order.
- The Ocado iPhone app is rated highly, though Waitrose and Tesco now have similar iPhone apps. Almost makes me want to buy an iPhone to compare them.
- At the time of writing, the minimum order with Ocado was said to be £90 quid and you also have to pay for delivery. With Waitrose, minimum order was £50 quid, with free delivery. Quite a difference! So check the different vendors for minimum order and delivery costs.
- If you recommend someone as a friend on Ocado you can both get discounts.
- Occado on demand costs £9.99 a month, and comes with free delivery and a minimum order of £40.
Waitrose Deliver in the cold
November 2010 was one of the coldest months on record, with snow lying on the ground and temperatures plummeting to Scandinavian levels. So it's interesting to look at the sales figures for this period to see what happens when a cold snap replace sthe relatively (!) balmy weather in November in the UK.
Waitrose sales were up 10.6% to £103m for the week ending November 27,
compared to the previous week4. So the cold weather didn't force
people indoors, stocking up for Christmas goodies remains important.
But with the sales of soups and hot chocolate up about 30%, people were also looking for some warm comfort.
Perhaps least surprisingly, Waitrose deliver did outstandingly well, with
sales up 41% on the same period last year.
The really big seller has been Heston Blumenthal’s Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding, containing a whole candied orange. Waitrose ran out, and puddings appeared in ebay auctions.
Find online references by search by title:
1. WaitroseDeliver, 23 Nov 2010, Waitrose Deliver home page (www.waitrosedeliver.com).
2. Ocado, 23 Nov 2010, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
3. Waitrose Deliver vs Ocado, 27 Sep 2009, Mumsnet Discussions (www.mumsnet.com)
4. Waitrose sales up 10.6% for the week by Julian Milnes, Refigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine, 30 Nov 2010
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