Asda continues focus on 'innovative' eCommerce

Senior eCommerce figures at UK grocer Asda have been talking up the impact click & collect and the use of agile technology systems have had on its online retailing business.

Significant investment has been made in the Walmart-owned supermarket's multichannel operations over the last 12 months, with Asda's eCommerce trading director Stephen Langford calling click & collect "a huge growth area" for the business due to the convenience it offers customers and the upselling opportunities it provides the retailer.

Asda has arguably taken something of a lead on its rivals in recent months in terms of customer fulfilment options, with the grocer among the first in the UK to properly investigate tube station sites and drive-through collection facilities. Much of this innovation has been driven by a change of approach to IT operations, with the company advocating the use of software provider eCommera's range of solutions.

Asda recruited eCommera to build its non-food website Asda Direct in 2008, and the two companies have recently renewed their working partnership.

"We have a very flexible platform in DynamicCommerce and we have transitioned from a static IT waterfall approach to implementation to one that is agile and encourages innovation," Langford explained.

"With eCommera we can deliver more capability, faster and more robustly."

Following a refresh of its multichannel operations in partnership with eCommera in 2013, Asda Direct increased the number of orders placed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in the build-up to Christmas last year, by 142% and 161% respectively – compared to ordinary operating days.

Asda and eCommera now have a joint team that is dedicated to working on the supermarket's multichannel targets over the coming months.

Andrew McGregor, CEO of eCommera, said: "This new agreement with Asda reflects the nature of our relationship and confirms the success of the partnership.

"Early on in the project we agreed to reject the conventional vendor/supplier management model typically used and work together in a more agile and dynamic fashion which also reflects the way Asda works on the retail operational side."

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