Sainsbury’s prepared for record-breaking online food orders

With just four days left before Christmas, Sainsbury’s has been investing all year to offer its customers easier and more convenient ways to shop and this weekend is set to be a record-breaker on digital channels.

With 175,000 online food orders already on track to be delivered to customers over the next three days, Sainsbury’s has dialled up its digital offer to give customers time-saving ways to shop this weekend.

Based on trading patterns and customer insights, the retailer expects around three million customers to shop with Sainsbury’s and Argos on smartphones, tablets and in-store handsets on Saturday 21st, Sunday 22nd and Monday 23rd December.

In preparation for the record-breaking weekend, not only is Sainsbury’s Click & Collect grocery service now available in 124 stores, the retailer has ramped up its SmartShop offer, bringing the service to over 450 more stores this year and 525 in total.

For the first time more than 370,000 Sainsbury’s customers are predicted to pick up their Christmas food shopping using the SmartShop app in-store. It’s predicted that up to 10% of all customers in stores that have SmartShop will choose to shop this way this weekend.

SmartShop customers can scan products as they go on either the handsets provided or their own smartphone. SmartShop customers can also keep track of the cost of their shop as they go – something that is particularly important to customers at Christmas – and speed through the checkouts at the end of their shop.

Between Saturday 21st and Monday 23rd December, Sainsbury’s forecasts it will deliver 175,000 online food orders to customers’ homes – that’s one order dropped off every second during delivery hours. Almost 2,500 Sainsbury’s vans will be on the roads to bring them to customers right across the UK, from stores in Penzance in Cornwall to Nairn in the Scottish Highlands.

After launching online after a major upgrade, Sainsbury’s Food to Order website, which offers food for special occasions and made-to-order items will see 60,000 online customers collect orders between Sunday 22nd December and Tuesday 24th December, a 10% uplift on last year’s peak Christmas trading days.

Meanwhile customers shopping for last minute Christmas presents can still call on Argos – the retailer’s Fast Track delivery service means customers can place orders right up until 1pm on the 24th December and have it delivered to their door the same day. It’s expected that 11am-midday will be the busiest hour for last minute orders on Christmas Eve.

This year, Black Friday broke records for digital sales at Argos, taking over £60 million sales through digital channels on the day. The event also saw the biggest ever hour for mobile shopping, with 91% of customers surfing for sales on their smartphone between 6-7am on Friday 29th November.

Michele Swaine, Sainsbury’s Head of Digital Product, said, “Digital is massive for us at Sainsbury’s and it’s a trend that’s set to continue. With SmartShop available in significantly more Sainsbury’s stores this year we can save customers precious time by getting them through the checkout quicker. Combined with market-leading delivery at Argos, this year we’re set up to help even the most last minute of shoppers find what they need.”