Tim Steiner

What risks do retailers face if they don't have an e-commerce presence?

I think the biggest risk we can see in the UK is not simply losing your best customers' primary shopping trip, but losing your best customers – full stop.

How is technology changing the e-commerce grocery landscape?

As an e-commerce operator, we're expected to do the work the consumer does in a traditional supermarket – driving, walking the aisles, picking goods, taking them to the till, packing them up and taking them home. What we've been doing for the last 15 years is deploying technology so we can do that extra work, yet at a lower cost. So we're producing the best service for the consumer, while actually creating a fully economic and sustainable model. We've done that by taking a different approach.

What role does innovation play at Ocado?

We're increasing automation to lower the warehouse cost, and creating new delivery solutions to lower delivery costs, to help improve margins. We're investing in the front end to build a better experience for the consumer, to build loyalty. In fact, we're working on innovation for every place where we interact with a customer.

Why has Ocado made its Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) available to others?

We've built a successful e-commerce business in the UK, and think we're in a powerful position to help retailers in other parts of the world do the same. Retailers have a significant presence in their local markets, with customer knowledge, buying power and presence. The combination of their skills, knowledge and presence with our IP, technology and logistics skills can be a very powerful combination.

How will an OSP partner of Ocado benefit from Ocado's constant innovation?

They'll get the benefit of all our innovations. For example, when we're able to add more robotics and automation at facilities, to reduce the amount of people it takes to serve the same number of customers, that's what they'll also get offered. That's the best thing about being an OSP customer – the ability to continue to benefit from all our ongoing investment.

How does Ocado stimulate customer loyalty?

We provide the best possible service by improving our interfaces to allow customers to buy from the widest range of products quickly and by operating our model accurately and efficiently so the customer gets what they want when they want. As we do this consistently our customers trust us and stay loyal.