Waitrose & Partners has launched a two-hour and same-day delivery service as part of a new trial with On the dot, part of the CitySprint Group.
The new ‘Waitrose Rapid Delivery’ service is available in eight selected London postcodes where customers will be able to choose up to 20 items from a curated selection of 1,500 products at rapid.waitrose.com. The product range has been compiled from convenience shopping data but will be continually reviewed following feedback from the trial.
Before checkout customers are offered the option of receiving their order within two hours of making it or are able to pick a one-hour slot for delivery the same day. A £10 minimum spend applies for the service which costs £5. Customers will receive email alerts once their order is picked and ready for collection and an SMS alert once it’s out for delivery. Customers can track their order once it’s been placed.
The retailer said that the trial was designed to meet the needs of the convenience top-up customer with research for the Waitrose Food Report 2017/18 suggesting that two-thirds of shoppers visit a supermarket more than once a day.
The trial uses On the dot’s cargo bike fleet as well as vans. All products will be handpicked by Waitrose & Partners staff from either the retailer’s stores in Fulham and Bloomsbury or its dot.com distribution centre in Coulsdon, Surrey.
Richard Ambler, head of business development at Waitrose & Partners, said the new service was designed to meet customers’ changing needs. “Customers are increasingly wanting to buy whatever they want when they want it.”
Santosh Sahu, CEO at On the dot, said it marks a wider trend. “The grocery sector is undergoing its biggest shift for decades – one where convenience and immediacy will win. Customers are shifting away from the routine of the big weekly shop – instead, time-poor and convenience-driven consumers are opting for ultra-fast deliveries of small baskets at a time that suits them,” he said.
The trial is to be reviewed with next steps likely to be decided early next year. The company said it hopes to roll out more widely is successful. Customers who are not in the current delivery area of the trial can enter their postcode and will be prompted to register their interest. They will then be emailed if a trial becomes available in their area.
Image credit: Waitrose & Partners