• Customer Psychology

13th Aug 2014

7 min

One girl’s story of falling in love with a supermarket

I’d never considered getting my grocery shopping online before, let alone shopping at a posh supermarket like Ocado. But one of my latest foodie fads meant I was trying to eat a wholefood diet of organic purity which was hard to come by in the smaller city centre metro stores.

Being an Aldi evangelist I wasn’t really sure where to turn to. I made a special pilgrimage out of town to an all organic/vegan supermarket but struggled to understand what some of the products were or whether they were any good. So I turned to the internet and this is where my new love affair started with Ocado.

I love that I can shop whenever, wherever I want

Gone are the days of standing in a slow moving queue like a zombie on my way home from work. Now I tend to do most of my shopping sat on the sofa watching cooking programmes and adding ingredients to my shopping list as I see them or even when I’m in the middle of cooking and notice I’m out of something. The mobile app works just like the desktop version. It has all the same product info, zoom functionality on photos, reviews etc. and importantly it’s fast. Not to mention if my partner decides to add some beer to our order when I’m not looking from his computer, our order updates across devices instantly. Our last order was made while sitting poolside at a hotel in France so we could have fresh food delivered when we arrived home. Brilliant.

I love reading reviews

I know it’s sad but I like to read reviews. Even for silly things like a punnet of tomatoes. Because I can’t see them in the flesh or smell them or squeeze them, I find the reviews really help me make decisions on what to purchase and we check them for pretty much every product I’ve bought from Ocado so far. These reviews disturbed me a little however …


I love the delivery options

The online delivery picker looks great and is easy to use: Ocado have really thought about what’s important to their customers. They highlight delivery slots to show you if they are already delivering in your area. Allowing customers to feel good about reducing the emissions of delivering their food, while also being a cunning business move to drive efficiencies and reduce costs.

 Delivery Slots

I love that they gave me something for free

Ocado let me know that they’d given us a free 3 month trial of their “SMART PASS” which means we get free delivery. The catch? There’s a minimum order value of £40. So each week we add a couple more products to hit the £40 mark and get our shopping delivered for free.

I love the quirky emails

The email we received on the morning of our first delivery was written as if it was from our driver himself. Each delivery van is decorated as a different fruit or vegetable so the email told us our delivery man Lee would be in the “apple van”.


I love that they surprised me

Our first order was delivered by the world’s friendliest delivery driver who knew it was our first order with Ocado. He talked us through how the shopping bags were colour coded depending on whether the food was for the fridge, freezer or cupboard and then told us there was a little welcome gift in there too. Now I know most people wouldn’t be that impressed with a free tea towel but it wasn’t expected at all and I really valued the gesture.


So our first shop went really well. We were really impressed and started telling friends how good the service was. But it was a little bit more expensive than we were use to and we walk past the local supermarket in town everyday so we weren’t sure whether we’d get another shop with then. Then it happened.

Champ or chocs

Free champagne or chocolates if we shop with them 4 more times? I don’t get that from Tesco? I counted each order we made after that point looking forward to the shop where our free bottle of champagne would arrive.

I was in love.

7 Ways to get your customers to fall in love with you

  1. Make it ridiculously easy for customers to shop with you, how they want to shop: Understanding how your customers shop is the first point in making this happen. If customers shop across multiple devices ensure your customers can get the same experience on mobile as they would on desktop
  2. Help customers make decisions: No matter how small an investment, when shopping online customers need additional information to help them decide what to buy. If you don’t provide reviews/useful product descriptions and quality images the likelihood is customers will shop where they can get the information they need to feel comfortable making the purchase.
  3. Understand your customers wants and needs: Understanding your customers will enable you to tailor your experience and service to them. Ocado understand the wants of their customers and offer little extras such as ‘emission saving delivery’ options.
  4. Engage with your customers: Ocado gave me a choice of free gift. This meant it wasn’t a simple email I read and filed away, I had to engage with the email to choose which gift I wanted. This meant I spent time thinking about it and reacting to it.  Techniques such as gamification are also great ways to increase engagement with your brand, ultimately leading to a strong affiliation and brand loyalty.
  5. Be Personable: As the saying goes, ‘people by people’. In the online world many sites focus on the design or functionally but don’t communicate what makes their brand special. Consumers like to shop using companies/brands they can related to or aspire too. If you don’t make it clear what makes your brand different online you’re unlikely to stand out among the crowd.
  6. Help create new routines: Habits help put the decision making part of the brain into a sleep type mode. You’ll probably have noticed this yourself if you drive the same route home every day: sometimes you arrive home without really remembering driving home at all, as if on autopilot. Help your customers establish habits, reducing the amount of thinking they need to do with low involvement products or services. Ocado do this by letting customers reserve the same delivery slot each week and allowing you to add frequently purchased items straight to your basket to help establish routines.
  7. Alleviating customer concerns: Use research to discover what concerns or hurdles your customers need to overcome to make purchases with you. It might be around security and payment options on your website for example. Ocado used their delivery email to alleviate any concerns customers might have about a stranger entering their home by providing the van type and name of delivery person so they know it’s a legitimate Ocado delivery.
  8. Surprise! Here’s a bonus tip: The nature of a positive unexpected stimulus has a very positive effect on consumers. Neuroscience research shows that we humans are hardwired to crave the unexpected. Surprises can influence consumer behaviour encouraging word of mouth, loyalty (craving the next surprise) and increased spend. The positive effects for businesses can be seen even when the gesture is small. Consider how you can add surprises into your online experience, products or services.

A Final Word

The above techniques can be applied to a range of situations however the execution of the techniques needs to be based on research and then tested to ensure you get the desired effect and it resonates with your audience.


  • What techniques do you use to get your customers to fall in love with you?
  • How do you surprise your customers?
  • What value does customer loyalty have to your business?

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