Online grocer Ocado has revealed the extent of the unprecedented demand spike it is facing in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, with orders 10 times higher than normal. Despite working “round the clock”, Ocado has stated that it is lacking the capacity to fulfil this increased number of orders, leading to lengthy wait times for shoppers to get onto the Ocado website, customers not being able to secure a delivery slot, as well as unfulfilled orders.
Shoppers looking to limit contact and reduce the risk of transmission have led to a significant rise in the demand for online delivery in the UK and globally. This has led Tesco to enforce product limits, while Morrisons is creating 3,500 jobs in order to increase delivery capacity. In spite of the rise in demand, retailers continue to prioritize access to those at risk, with Ocado, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s prioritizing online delivery slots for elderly and vulnerable customers.
As retailers are focused on immediate responses to the radical swings in shopper behaviors, CPGs must work with retailer partners now to identify priority ranges, prioritize the manufacturing of key SKUs and ensure fair distribution among retailer clients. Brands should also leverage real-time data to anticipate and identify out-of-stocks, reallocating resources to address these in a timely manner.
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