What Webvan Could Have Learned From Tesco

from the hubris dept

A good look at what exactly went wrong at Webvan and, in contrast, what has gone right with the UK’s Tesco’s online grocery shopping operation. Basically, Webvan decided that they had to reinvent everything. They tried to change how people shopped and they tried to change the entire logistics process of the grocery industry. Tesco, on the other hand, tried to build off of what was already there. Now that Tesco and Safeway are working together (with GroceryWorks) in the US, the question is if the Tesco model will transfer well over here. Personally, I never used Webvan. I’ve got the local Safeway mapped out in my brain, and I’m pretty damn efficient in whipping through the aisles in the middle of the night to get everything I need. It makes no sense to me that I prefer to buy books (and occasionally music) online, but groceries just don’t do it for me online.

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Comments on “What Webvan Could Have Learned From Tesco”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: Net groceries

Yeah, you’re right. I don’t think the entire concept is bad, and I know many people who miss their Webvan terribly. Just from a personal standpoint, it never made sense to me (which confuses some of my friends who, naturally, assume I live off of the internet).

I think the thing that always got me was the initial set up. I never wanted to sit down and figure out how the online grocery store worked, and to put all my standard items into the cart. I’m sure it gets easier after that first shot. But, when I bought my first book online, it’s easy to “test” the system. With groceries, though, you tend to buy a bunch of different things, so, it seems like a big time waster to figure out how it all works…

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