Asda Direct is to add live in-store stock levels to its website, allowing customers to reserve specific items.

From next year, a pilot scheme will allow shoppers to search stock levels at their local store by typing in a postcode on the Asda Direct website.

“Shoppers will be told at checkout on an online shop whether their local store is also stocking the same items for collection and the plan is to allow them to then reserve an item, very much like the Argos model,” Asda head of multichannel Jon Wragg told The Grocer.

“This is potentially excellent from a sustainability perspective as it will reduce the need for thousands of deliveries.”

Wragg also revealed the retailer is considering implementing a Twitter-style ‘trending’ section to Asda’s website. This would follow in the footsteps of Asda owner Walmart, with the US retailer’s website containing a trending bar that tracks popular items and product reviews.

Asda posted a 0.7% rise in like-for-like sales over the 12 weeks to 5 July, down from the 1.3% jump in the first quarter, and Wragg believes “better utilisation of customer reviews” could be key to improving lagging sales.

He explained: “We have experimented on our app in implementing product reviews for general merchandise and George. Customers will potentially be able to scan a bar code in store that brings up all online reviews and I think this could help reassure millions more customers to go through with a buy.”

With biggest retail rival Tesco launching its Hudl tablet, and Argos also releasing a budget device, Wragg admitted Asda was closely monitoring the tablet market.

He added: “It wouldn’t surprise you if we were working with Walmart on something for this broad space. What we won’t do is just quickly put out a cheap tablet it has to be of unique benefit to our customers.”