Ocado CEO debunks 3 myths about online grocery

Luke Jensen took the stage at Groceryshop in Las Vegas to clear up some common misconceptions

It’s true that to succeed in the online grocery space you need a compelling proposition and the willingness to experiment. But those hesitant to dip their toes in the e-commerce waters could very well be basing their decision on industry folklore.

Luke Jensen, chief executive officer at leading online British supermarket Ocado, took to the stage at Groceryshop in Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon to debunk some common misconceptions:

  1. Nobody makes money selling food online. Simply not true, Jensen told a packed auditorium on day two of the three-day conference and trade show. Granted, you won't find success if you're operating with a 2% to 3% bottom line margin and you treat online as an incremental cost. You can make money if you’re willing to rethink how you run your business end to end, “even if you’re competing against the biggest grocers in the world,” he said.

  2. Nobody buys fresh food online.  Ocado has the highest penetration of fresh food sales of any food retailer in the U.K., he said.

  3. It's niche, not mass market and it's only for millennials. More than 50% of households in the U.K. use online grocery at least from time to time as part of their grocery shopping routine, said Jensen. And, families are the biggest users of online grocery shopping, not millennials. “Everyone in this room knows what we’re really trying to get to is families.”


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