Waitrose expands its Rapid service with Stripe

The leading UK grocery chain scales its two hours or less offering.

Waitrose & Partners, one of the UK’s best-known supermarket chains, launched a pilot of the Waitrose Rapid service back in September 2018, built on Stripe. The service offered groceries delivered within two hours of ordering, and initially launched with eight of its stores.

Waitrose tripled the number of delivery slots available through the service in April* in response to the increased demand for online groceries caused by lockdown measures in the UK. The retailer also confirmed that at least 40% of the new slots would be reserved exclusively for the elderly and the vulnerable.

With the checkout flow for the pilot having been created using Stripe Elements, Waitrose was able to confidently scale the volume of payments being made via the Rapid service.

Quality conversion experience

Waitrose needed to ensure the checkout flow for Rapid was extremely user-friendly. Using Stripe Elements the Waitrose team created a checkout flow that incorporated conversion lessons from hundreds of millions of transactions made across Stripe’s user base.

The Waitrose Rapid checkout flow, for example, adapts to the user’s device, automatically displays card number inputs to directly match the formatting on the end customer’s card, and offers a numerical keypad on mobile when appropriate. There are also plans to enable payments via digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Minimising fraud without hurting conversion

As part of scaling the Rapid service, Waitrose integrated Stripe Radar for fraud detection. Radar uses machine learning to train on data from millions of companies that use Stripe around the world in order to better detect and prevent fraud, without stopping legitimate customers from completing their orders.

Ben Stimson, Digital Director at Waitrose and Partners, said:

“We’ve increased our Rapid delivery service tenfold since lockdown measures were introduced. We’re in the process of significantly ramping up our online offer in preparation for Waitrose.com becoming the only place to buy Waitrose food online later this year, and we brought this plan forward by six months in response to the extreme demand caused by Covid-19.

“Stripe’s experience in the enterprise segment and the security measures it has in place has allowed us to accelerate the expansion of Rapid as we continue to build our online capacity and ensure it is playing a key role in helping our customers the food and drink they want when they need it.”

*Waitrose Rapid is now available in the following areas: Barbican, Battersea, Bayswater, Belgravia, Bloomsbury, Brent Cross, Buckhurst Hill, Canary Wharf, Chiswick, Clapham Junction, Crouch End, Enfield, Finchley Road, Fulham, Harrow Weald, High Holborn, High Street Kensington, Hove, Kingston, Kings Cross, Mill Hill, Monument, Putney, Richmond, South Bank Tower, South Harrow, Stratford, Victoria, and Whetstone.