Sainsbury’s expands Organic brief as online sales surge

sainsburys_1Sainsbury’s is aiming to further boost its digital presence to capitalise on a massive surge in online shopping over the Christmas period, with the appointment of agency Organic to handle the supermarket chain’s SEO.

Organic has worked with Sainsbury’s-owned Argos since 2016, and will now expand this relationship to cover the supermarket chain as well.

The agency has been tasked to develop the retailer’s current SEO capabilities, by providing support throughout the organisation. Organic and Sainsbury’s will work together to deliver the retailer’s natural search objectives and put SEO at the heart of ecommerce.

The plan includes providing technical and strategic support alongside SEO training for internal teams.

Organic managing director Ben Scoggins said: “We’re really proud of the relationship we have built with the Argos team over the past four years, helping to put SEO at the heart of the retailer’s ecommerce. Working with Sainsbury’s is a fantastic new chapter – we can’t wait to get started.”

Sainsbury’s group SEO manager Dan Patmore added: “We are excited to extend our partnership with Organic, and further build on the work we have been doing together.”

The appointment comes as Sainsbury’s has reported a major increase in like-for-like sales over the festive period, with more customers than ever placing online orders. The company now expects pre-tax profits for the year to hit £330m compared with its previous forecast of £270m, although Sainsbury’s decision to pay back its £410m business rates bill mean last year’s pre-tax profits of £586m are out of reach.

Sales over the Christmas period increased by 9.3%, with grocery sales up 7.4%, and online soaring 128% as 1.1 million online orders for food were delivered in the 10 days leading up to December 25.

Total sales during the three-month period were up 6.8%. Meanwhile, non-food sales grew by 6%, with Argos sales up 8.4%.

Chief executive Simon Roberts said: “While people had smaller gatherings, they still treated themselves, with Taste The Difference sales up 11%. Premium champagne sales were up 52%, Taste The Difference party food was popular throughout December, and people did more home baking than usual, with mincemeat sales up 24%.

“Customers still wanted New Year’s Eve at home to feel special and we sold a record number of steaks.”

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