Waitrose’s brand perceptions improve amid talk of a deal with Amazon for online groceries
October 24th, 2023, Stephan Shakespeare

Waitrose’s brand perceptions improve amid talk of a deal with Amazon for online groceries

It’s more than three years since Ocado left Waitrose for Marks & Spencer – saying it would be “bigger, better and cheaper” under the new deal. While Waitrose hasn’t exactly been drowning its sorrows since then – in a recent mystery shopping test for The Grocer its online service narrowly beat Ocado/M&S to the top spot – the news that it is getting back out there and mulling a collaboration with Amazon for online groceries has been accompanied by improvements in its public perceptions. 

YouGov BrandIndex data shows that Buzz scores, which measure whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about a supermarket in the past two weeks, more than doubled from 4.8 to 11.6 (+6.8) between 8 October – when news of the potential tie-up was first reported by The Sunday Telegraph – and 15 October. The approving noise around the brand appears to have translated to an improvement in Impression scores (a measure of overall good and bad sentiment towards a supermarket), which have rocketed from 24.8 to 41.1 (+16.3) over the same period. 

Customers became more likely to recommend Waitrose after news of the Amazon deal broke, with Recommend scores improving from 14.3 to 25.3 (+11.0) in the week following 8 October. And Reputation scores, which measure whether consumers would be proud or embarrassed to work for a particular company, jumped from 28.8 to 33.9 (+5.1). 

The public, then, appear open to the idea of Waitrose partnering up with Amazon; it is cuffing season, after all. Exploring our data further reveals that some 75% of the supermarket’s current customers – and 71% of its former customers – agree that they would “switch brand/shop for a better shipping and delivery service”, compared to 66% of the public. However well its current online shopping service performs, hooking up with a brand that is arguably synonymous with deliveries might help them please their current customers, and win back some of those who have left.