How to Successfully Sell on Ocado

Ocado is spearheading the online grocery revolution as the world’s largest dedicated online grocery supermarket, which means if you sell FMCG items online, you need to be on Ocado.
Sell on Ocado Resource by Marketplace Amp

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Ocado’s grocery delivery service reaches over 74% of the UK, and more than 97% of Ocado’s orders arrive accurately and on time, with guaranteed freshness and virtually no substitute products! But how do you go about listing your products on Ocado? 

In this blog, we’ll run you through the steps of setting up your Ocado account and how to optimise it for the best return on your investment!


Getting stocked on Ocado

Ocado stocks over 50,000 products, including big-name brands, M&S food, and Ocado Own Label items. Ocado’s model sidesteps traditional supermarket shelf space requirements, giving smaller, independent suppliers a chance to shine in their virtual aisles!

To get Ocado’s attention, simply fill out the application form which can be found here. This form is broken into 4 sections where you have to tell them about your brand, range and individual products as well as prove that they are safe and legal.

Once this is complete, one of Ocado’s Buyers will test your range and decide whether it is suitable for the Ocado marketplace. This process can take up to 8 weeks but once complete the Buyer will get back in touch to either set up a meeting or tell you why you were declined. 

If you have been accepted, your brand will get a dedicated Ocado representative who will help you to set up your listings and your Brandbank account (more on that later…).


Setting yourself up for success

Ocado views brands as being in one of four categories: Active and Defend, Break the habit, Divert, and Interrupt. Depending on which category your brand fits into, there are different routes you can take to amplify your sales.

Active and defend — this means you are the market leader and want to defend your position at the top of the category.

You want to keep your customers loyal and ensure new Ocado shoppers have year-round visibility of your brand and offers on both app and web. A great way to do this is via promotions, coupons, Ocado 10% Smart Pass and search media such as banners and FFOPs. You can also use the Ocado dashboard to gain insights on consumers and their activity with your brand.

Break the habit — this is the challenger brand that intends on disrupting the norm and is making progress in the category.

A great way to pull customers away from the brand leader is to drive trials of your product by offering a strong and clear listing and customer reviews, which can be achieved with the Ocado Star Review Programme. Coupons are a great way to encourage new shoppers to try your product as well as the Checkout Walk Gifting Programme where Ocado offers a free gift at checkouts.

Divert — this is a new and emerging contender in the category which is trying to inspire and recruit new consumers.

As a potentially new brand, it is important to be visible to the most relevant customers. Using the Ocado insights dashboard you can track what’s working and what isn’t, to ensure you’re not wasting time and investment. A/B testing your content will also help you to get the most out of the shoppers who land on your listing.

Interrupt — this is a well-known brand trying to break into a new category with a new product, utilising their recognisable brand name to grab shoppers’ attention.

Being an already established brand, you want to utilise this strength and showcase the full range. You can do this by using top-level media advertising as well as supplier-led events. Another great way to utilise your brand is to offer bundle deals and promotions that offer the consumer a product you already know they love with your new one!


Optimising your Ocado listings

Ocado wants to make the shopping experience as easy as possible for consumers. One of the biggest ways they are tackling this is through mobile-friendly hero images. The purpose of a hero image is to ensure a product’s main image grabs consumers’ attention on the digital shelf. 

Creating one involves simplifying the standard packshot so that only the most important information can be seen more clearly on handheld devices and in cluttered search results. This helps shoppers to quickly recognise your product and brand.

A mobile-friendly hero image simplifies a standard packshot to focus on key information

Arming shoppers with the ‘who, what, and how many’ about your product with a single image gives them enough information to make a one-click purchase! At the very least, it gives your listing authority and encourages consumers to click through to your product detail page.

Ocado allows for one “roundel” on their hero images. Roundels or call-outs have to give added information to the consumers and include marketing information. For example, serving size or recommended age, as well as recent awards are allowed, however a call out with a “new recipe” is not.

The main image may be incredibly important but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the rest of the image deck! Ocado works with Brandbank where you have to upload your product assets and images for them to then be used to the Ocado marketplace. It’s best to include multiple angles of your product, especially the back of pack (BOP) with the ingredients and nutritional information.

It’s best to include multiple angles of your product, especially the back of pack.

To really boost the customer experience, we suggest adding extra imagery such as call outs which include your products USPs and lifestyle photography that show the product in use. Any extra information that you can add will improve the customers’ e-commerce experience and give them the information they need to make an informed decision.

There are lots of marketing opportunities available with Ocado to make sure you grab the attention of the platform’s base of over 639,000 active customers! If you’d like more information on expanding your business with Ocado, contact marketplace amp! marketplace amp can help you create your accounts, optimise your product listings and advertise effectively. We understand what encourages customers to find, love and buy your products, not abandon them.

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