MIS Quarterly Executive


Online retailing has become a pervasive phenomenon that has profoundly affected the structure of many different industries. Yet the challenges for retailers in some industries have been more difficult due to the nature of the products sold and the existing fulfillment channels. We present an analysis of Tesco.com to show how the U.K.’s leading grocery supermarket chain successfully addressed its industry-specific challenges to become the biggest and most successful online grocery retailer in the world. Based on this analysis, we provide five lessons that we believe are useful for other multichannel retailing businesses:

• Learn by doing and evolve your e-business operations strategy over time.

• Proactively address the inherent online/offline channel conflicts.

• Allocate the costs specific to each channel.

• Offer online shoppers a customized yet simple shopping experience.

• Leverage data from the online channel for both online and offline businesses.