Woolworths reveals e-commerce gains from digital transformation

Retail major Woolworths Group said its online sales grew 31.6 percent to $1.6 billion in 2019 and online accounts for 12.1 percent of group sales.
Woolworths digital transformationWoolworths’ X businesses, WooliesX, CountdownX and EndeavorX delivered strong growth as Woolworths made significant investment in a number of digital initiatives and targeted customer promotions as well as leveraging customer shipping shopping patterns towards events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The operational performance on ecommerce also improved as business continued to scale. One of the key elements of a profitable online business is fulfillments and last mile.

“We announced a partnership with Takeoff Technologies to deliver for East and micro fulfillments across Australia, New Zealand this year. We began rolling out route optimization software to to deliver material improvements in home delivery efficiency,” Woolworths CEO Bradford Banducci said.

John Hunt is the CIO of Woolworths Group. John Hunt joined Woolworths in 2017 as chief information officer. John Hunt, originally from Cape Town, spent over 25 years at Woolworths in South Africa where he held a range of senior IT and core retail leadership roles, including CIO and senior executive for Food Planning and Value chain.


The focus of Cartology, the digital media business, is to scaling up the team and the rolling out of digital screen network. Cartology rolled out digital screen network to over 500 supermarkets during the half.

Woolworths achieved improvement in the operating performance and efficiency. It achieved good progress on online fulfilment strategy which includes four eStores (micro-fulfilment centres) to be opened this calendar year across Australia and New Zealand.

Delivery Now, express delivery service, is now available to over eight million customers. There is also strong demand for Delivery Unlimited, its revamped delivery subscription business, from customers.

Digital traffic continued to grow at over 50 percent through more personalised, effortless and connected customer experiences. WooliesX introduced a ‘track my order’ feature following many customer requests, enabling customers to track order in real time via the Woolworths app.

EndeavourX’s investment in digital platforms and convenience offerings delivered online sales growth of 15.4 percent to $321 million in H20, with online penetration increasing to 6.7 percent. In Q2, online sales increased by 11.3 percent with online penetration of 6.9 percent.

Woolworths in May 2019 said it is set to become the first Australian supermarket to trial data embedded (or 2D) barcodes in stores from August.

The trial has the potential to help reduce the millions of tonnes of food waste generated in Australia each year. Hilton Foods and Ingham’s will start placing 2D barcodes on fresh meat and poultry products sold via Woolworths supermarkets nationally.

IT services company TCS has been awarded Technology Partner of the Year at an awards event hosted by Woolworths Group IT.

Woolworths Chief Information Officer John Hunt said: “We have awarded TCS Partner of the Year based on their passion to provide extraordinary service and support. TCS are true partners who care about our customers, ensure IT runs smoothly, and go above and beyond for our business.”

The Australian Computer Society (ACS), Cognizant, Google, and Wipro were among a small number of partners recognised at the Woolworths Group IT event across technology service and solution categories.

Rajani Baburajan

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