February 13, 2013, 12:24 PM

U.K. grocer Ocado bags an 11% web sales increase in 2012

Mobile devices now account for 28% of all orders, the online grocer reports.

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Sales were up in 2012 for United Kingdom-based Ocado Ltd., and the online grocer continues to expand distribution capacity.

In a recent year-end earnings presentation, Ocado, No. 21 in the Top 400 Europe reported:

  • Total sales of 716.2 million British pounds ($1.12 billion) in fiscal 2012, up 11.4% from 642.8 pounds ($1.01 billion) in 2011.
  • An average of 123,000 orders per week in 2012, up 11.8% from 110,000 orders per week in 2011.
  • At the end of the year, the merchant says it had 355,000 active customers, defined as shoppers who completed a purchase within the previous 12 weeks.
  • Ocado distributed an average of 151 orders per van per week. That’s up 4.1% from 145 deliveries per van in 2011.

Ocado did not break out Q4 sales.

Ocado CEO Tim Steiner says mobile commerce is a growing portion of overall business, as 28% of orders are now completed on mobile devices.

In 2012, the merchant underwent a number of technology and distribution upgrades, including increased web site personalization features that reduced online shopping times, and a new Facebook log-in option so customers can share their shopping lists with friends.

Ocado has expanded its SKU count to more than 28,000, including 8,000 non-food items like baby and toddler products, hair and beauty items, and home décor. In January, the merchant opened a small distribution center dedicated to such items, and it plans to continue growing this side of the business going forward.

Another new 350,000-square-foot distribution center in Dordon, England is set to begin fulfilling orders at the end of February, which will give Ocado the capacity to ship an additional 120,000-130,000 orders per week, Ocado says. The merchant currently operates a 295,000-square-foot distribution center in Hatfield, a London suburb.

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