Blog: Petah MarianThe long road towards online market dominance

Petah Marian | 17 February 2011

The Experian Hitwise Hot Shops list, considered a key indicator of the performance of online retailers, is out and, while it was interesting that both Tesco and Asda slipped down the rankings, most striking was online-only grocer Ocado's absence from the list.

The IMRG-Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List tracks the number of visits that UK retailers of all kinds recieve online.

During the quarter ended February, Tesco, the highest ranked UK grocery retailer slid down one place to 5th position, while Asda dropped three places down to 24th. Sainsbury's swapped places with Asda, reaching 21st.

What struck me as I looked through the list was that for all the hype surrounding Ocado, it didn't even make the list. For all the the chatter within the industry around whether or when it will become profitable, which tends to be countered by talk of its amazing offer and great service among consumers, it didn't even rank as one of the 50 most popular online retailers.

Additionally, the popularity of the UK grocers online largely reflected their market shares in their bricks-and-mortar stores i.e. Tesco in the lead with Sainsbury's and Asda trailling behind.

I suppose what this highlights, is that for all the grandstanding by Ocado's management, the retailer still faces a long road ahead in its attempts to reach any significant level of market dominance, and that breaking the major retailers' lead remains no mean feat.


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