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Asda hungry for success with new online 'Recipes' tool

UK grocer Asda is expecting significant growth in online sales via its newly launched Asda Recipes tool.

The service, which has just launched on its main responsive website, having been available on the supermarket group’s apps for a few months, allows shoppers to populate their online shopping basket by clicking on set recipes.

For regular shoppers at Asda, the selected items matching the recipe will be based on their previous spending behaviour for added convenience in a move by the grocer to fill what it has described as a “gap in the market” in mainstream UK grocery.

Talking at IGD Live, a grocery industry event taking place at east London's Tobacco Dock on Thursday (7 November), Phil Wilkinson, senior director for grocery eCommerce at Asda, talked up the new functionality as the digital product launch he is most proud of over recent months.

“Recipes is an example of us investing into the development of new solutions where we know that customers care, and where there is an opportunity and a gap in the market,” Wilkinson noted.

“This is genuinely a market first and it’s going to be a key strategic growth pillar for Asda over the coming years.”

Recipes builds on the content from its Good Living proposition, a printed magazine and online community for its customers. More than 3,000 of these recipes have been ingested onto Asda online, giving customers an opportunity to “shop exactly how they want to”, said Wilkinson.

He added that customers buy ingredients but they cook meals, and this service is “filling the experiential gap”.

Consumers can filter recipes according to cuisine type, occasion, cost per serving, calories, or time to cook, for example, and then arrange more granularly by price per serving, or fat content.

“It’s fully personalised, driven by our in-house personalisation engine – customers can add recipes to basket in one click and the ingredients are matched to product through the personalisation engine,” Wilkinson added.

Typical cupboard goods, such as salt or cooking oil, are not included in the list of ingredients automatically added to online baskets, but consumers are presented with an opportunity to do so within the speeded-up checkout service.

Asda is pushing the new service significantly, with it taking a prominent position on the top-navigation bar of the groceries website.

And Wilkinson said it is already achieving positive results that justify the investment it has made in delivering it to its customers.

“Customers shopping in Recipes are adding three more items to their cart than they were previously and they are increasing their spend significantly when they start using this service,” Wilkinson commented.

He also said that people using Recipes are moving from below average spenders to above average spenders, which he claimed was “really important to know” in terms of gauging its success.

“We’ve clearly provided something to our customers that we weren’t providing to them previously,” Wilkinson continued.

“We’re exploring exciting [further] opportunities with supplier partners, with [parent company] Walmart, and with our customers.”