M&S ramps up its Ocado BWS product lines ahead of September launch

Marks & Spencer is ramping up its product lines and BWS activity in advance of its Ocado launch on September 1, according to new data.

Edge by Ascential’s ecommerce analytics SaaS platform, Digital Shelf, conducted analysis into the full category and product ranges currently listed on Ocado’s website, and this insight revealed a “significantly higher proportion of alcohol products available than Waitrose”.

It said this is particularly prevalent in the wine category. In red wine Waitrose listed just seven products versus 102 for M&S, while in white wine M&S listed 82 products compared to just 13 for Waitrose.

Chris Elliott, Digital Shelf analyst at Edge by Ascential said: “Given all of these products are still listed as unavailable for purchase and we're still seeing lines added, it's reasonable to assume this is not the finalised range before full launch on 1st September. However, it does give us a good insight into the product ranges and offering we can expect from M&S on Ocado after the launch.

“It appears that M&S is focusing on the convenience and grocery products that we are used to seeing in its M&S food halls, such as alcohol, chilled foods and shelf stable products and we can expect this will be a strong aspect of M&S’ offering. However, there are certain categories where it seems that M&S will need to work harder on if it wants to measure up to Waitrose’s previous offering.

"This includes investing more in the home care category - something that is an everyday essential and part of many consumers’ shopping baskets.”

In other sectors of BWS the numbers also look favourable for M&S. The retailer has listing 36 spirits so far with Ocado, compared with the seven previously listed by Waitrose.

For beer and cider it has 36 compared to eight, and it has 14 fortified wines, up from Waitrose’s nine.