Ocado is to trial a same-day delivery service, in a first for online grocery retail. 

Finance director Jason Gissing told The Grocer the trial would take place “over the next few months” in London, where Ocado claims it commands 50% of online grocery sales.

Same-day delivery would encourage shoppers who were currently put off by having to wait until the next day for their shopping to try Ocado, Gissing said.

“There are a tonne of reasons why people like shopping over the internet. It is convenient and saves time, it is easier to budget because you can see everything you’re spending before you spend it.

“But there are downsides and the downsides can be: ‘I’m hungry, my fridge is empty, I need to go and get something because I need food now.’ 

“Well, we can address that by launching same-day delivery, which we will launch over the next few months on a trial basis.”

Gissing said that logistically it would be “difficult” and it had not yet been ­decided whether there would be a two-tier delivery charge. 

“Like all retailers it is by trial and error you get these things right. We are going to be doing some tests on a pilot basis in the next few weeks locally and it will probably take a while to roll out. But I think it is quite an exciting development.”

During the trials it would emerge what type of shoppers the scheme appealed to, he said. 

“Most of our customers tend to be families with children. They tend to have Tesco or Sainsbury’s as their primary supermarket choice, then they move online and choose us. 

“So what works for them doesn’t necessarily work for the single, working professional in central London or the silver surfer ageing parents or grandparents living in Kent, so we have to try and do different things for different people. 

“I’m not sure who same day delivery is going to appeal to and that is one of the things we will learn as we trial it.”