WM Morrison to enter online arena?


The advantage of entering a market late should not be underestimated. Give the time to let competitors slug it out and develop the best model isn’t such a bad idea.

This week, WM Morrison are poised to reveal their plans to dominate the online world.

Although they have been slow to react the investment they made in Fresh Direct is one of the smartest moves I have seen from a traditional high street retailer. Little known in the UK they are a fabulous example of how to run a retailer online.

Why I think Morrison need to get a move on is a simpler issue that missing the online tsunami, it’s about convenience and word of mouth. In this arena, social reaction and discussion about convenience is such a strong viral element.

In 1998 when I lived in Palo Alto, I loved the early groceries retailers, especially WEBVAN, they really understood the power of word of mouth. The delivery was speedy, the delivery drivers refused to take a tip (even though it is customary in the US) and the product selection and order process was 10 times better than any UK multiple retailer 10 years later.

So let’s hope that Morrisons enter the market next week and we see that slightly gaudy yellow and green vans on a street near us soon!

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