Clodagh Moriarty says she has "the best job at Sainsbury's"\u00a0but it isn't always meeting customer demands for\u00a0digital.\n"They don't even view it [digital] as a channel," the\u00a0Chief Digital Officer explained at the Tech. Festival 2019 in London yesterday.\u00a0"They view it as a way of engaging, doing business and living their lives. Whether that is social, on-demand TV, food service home delivery, it is just core to how we operate today. Customers\u00a0\u2013 people\u00a0\u2013 just want things how, when and where they want them."\nResearch shows the value of meeting these demands.\u00a0Customers who shop at Sainsbury's both online and in-store spent 2.4 times that of customers who shop\u00a0exclusively in-store.\nSainsbury's has responded to this trend by introducing delivery app Chop Chop, the\u00a0Click & Collect scheduled\u00a0collection\u00a0service and SmartShop, a new in-store app that lets users scan their products\u00a0as they shop and then\u00a0skip the checkout queues, but the supermarket has also had to upgrade a vast legacy estate.\nThe company has been operating for 150 years, which\u00a0have brought with them heritage, scale and range - and many\u00a0monolithic systems.\nThe IT team has\u00a0responded by\u00a0breaking down monoliths into their individual modules\u00a0such as\u00a0recommendation engines and favourites, and then reusing these across all digital propositions. They've further improved the estate by\u00a0upgrading the connectivity in stores and migrating to the cloud, which led page load speeds\u00a0to improve by over 50% overnight and production releases to go from slow and unreliable to fast and agile.\n"It's mildly embarrassing, but we used to operate in a world where we could release new functionality and updates to our customer five-to-six times a year, and each time committing the cardinal sin of a customer outage,"\u00a0Moriarty\u00a0admitted.\u00a0"Now we can release as frequently as in-day, multiple times, with no customer outage."\nApp-happy\nThere\u00a0are also risks in trying to cater to digital customers.\n"At one point everyone seemed to think an app was needed," Moriarty recalled. "For us at Sainsbury's, it was a bit like whack-a-mole \u2013\u00a0every time I turned around a new app had sprung up somewhere. And we addressed that organisationally by bringing together all the digital products and the corresponding P&Ls into one place."\nThis process began with bringing SmartShop and Chop Chop together in one app. Moriarty said that\u00a0customers\u00a0loved the control and convenience and that it led 11% of them to start SmartShop - a significant uptake as SmartShop\u00a0customers spend an average of 18% more\u00a0at Sainsbury's.\nRead next: Leading CIOs, CDOs and CTOs in retail\nFeedback from customers is also influencing the future development of the app. Around 80% of them said they wanted digital Nectar points and offers in-flow, which has led\u00a0Sainsbury's to launch this service across its entire estate, while\u00a082% expected to have a single account\u00a0for all digital services, which convinced Sainsbury's\u00a0to\u00a0build a new identity platform.\n\u201cAll of this helps deliver in the now but is also fuel for future growth,\u201d Moriarty said.\nCross-brand shopping\nThe Sainsbury's business also encompasses Argos, Habitat, Tu and Nectar, which the company is trying to bring together where they converge and keep separate where they offer unique\u00a0customer experiences.\nThe company has been testing how to integrate these digital services\u00a0and plans to have a single solution for the catalogues and categories next year.\nMoriarty\u00a0uses the example of a barbecue to explain how this could work. If a customer adds burgers from Sainsbury's to their basket, they might then be offered\u00a0tongs from Habitat, a barbecue from Argos and an umbrella from Tu in case the UK weather lets them down. The company's fast fulfilment options would allow it to deliver all these products to any customer that same day.\nRead next: Morrisons Chief Technology Director Anna Barsby discusses new role at retailer and plans for the future\nSainsbury's also plans to provide\u00a0personalised, in-store, real-time offers, rewards and recommendations to\u00a0digital\u00a0Nectar\u00a0customers while they scan their products through SmartShop, such as suggesting a wine\u00a0for a\u00a0dish that they've just bought. Users will be able to choose the level of interaction they want.\nMoriarty believes the combination of these initiatives will allow Sainsbury's to\u00a0offer\u00a0a faster, more convenient and better-value shopping experience.\n"We can now anticipate or rapidly respond to where our customers \u2013 knowingly or not \u2013 need us and expect us to be," she said.