Sustained competitive advantage can be gained by offering what creates value for the customers. Porter defines value as ‘what buyers are willing to pay’. Bevan and Murphy (2001) contend that firms can do this by either lowering the costs or doing something different from competitors. Tesco had initially launched their online channel Tesco Direct but today they have moved beyond online grocery retailing and offer a wide range of products. Their website www.tesco.com enables the customers to buy online from their familiar local store. The pricing and inventory system is linked directly to
Tesco.com so that the customers can select the good at the prices they are used to (Müller-Lankenau, Klein & Wehmeyer, 2004). They charge a nominal fee as delivery charges for their online customers. Besides, Tesco had the first-mover advantages in introducing online grocery shopping but in addition, it gained its market leading position by educating and empowering its customers to take up the online channel (Tse, 2005). This created the point of differentiation which added value to its service offering, thereby giving it the competitive advantage.
Another point of differentiation in its services that Tesco has created is that it is the only retailer whose site is accessible by the disabled or the impaired people. The government of UK is attempting to make improve the quality of their life so that they live as normal a life as others. Tesco has taken the step and integrated accessibility into the main stream grocery site (Mairs, 2006).