Bananas, Toilet Tissue Help Tesco Beat Out Rivals in Online Sales: Study

LONDON -- is by far the most popular online grocery site in the UK, capturing 66 percent of all online grocery orders -- and especially, bananas and toilet tissue, apparently -- amounting to an average of 30,000 orders per day for total sales of approximately 2.5 million GBP every day, according to an in-depth analysis from digital business tracker comScore Networks.

The analysis of UK online grocery sales data, covering the first seven months of 2006, showed that's closest online competitor was ASDA online (, which captured 16 percent of all orders, followed by Sainsbury's online ( with 14 percent, said comScore. The comScore UK database is culled from the behavior of more than 2 million consumers worldwide who have given comScore permission to passively observe their online activities.

Customers purchased more than 11 million bananas from in the first seven months of 2006, representing the top item sold by volume at the site. Tesco's Luxury Soft Toilet Tissue 12-packs generated almost 2 million GBP over the year, more sales than any other product.

"The best performing items at seem to be an interesting mix of fresh fruit and vegetables with a reasonable shelf life, like carrots, onions and apples, and large-volume containers that are awkward for consumers to carry home themselves," said Ivins.

Despite its third-place standing in volume, Sainsbury's did get credit as the e-commerce provider where online customers actually spent the most when they ordered, averaging almost 90 GBP, compared to 80 GBP for both Tesco and ASDA. In addition, ASDA and Sainsbury's online customers typically ordered more items, both averaging 69 units per order compared to Tesco's 58.

As part of its analysis, comScore tracked the delivery costs charged at checkout, and found that Sainsbury's online customers incurred the lowest delivery charge during the period, at just over 3 GBP per delivery on average. Tesco's online customers paid over 4 GBP per delivery, and ASDA's online customers paid the most at nearly 5.50 GBP.

"Delivery charges represent a key component of overall online grocery service, because the top three sites each offer complex pricing structures based on the delivery slot chosen and the amount ordered," said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.
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