Source: Ocado

Ocado is trialling a revival of its ‘deliver to the kitchen table’ option.

The online grocer was one of few supermarkets to offer the option of deliveries beyond the doorstep to all its customers, with most restricting kitchen drop-offs to the vulnerable, elderly or disabled.

However, during the pandemic Ocado removed the option for the safety of both its customers and drivers.

Customers in selected areas were this month notified that they were part of a trial that “lets you choose to get your shopping delivered straight to your kitchen table”.

A message to those customers told them to “just let your driver know when they arrive and they’ll be happy to help”.

It is understood drivers making deliveries from Ocado’s CFC in Purfleet and spoke site in Sheffield are involved in the trial.

They have been provided with disposable overshoe bags to avoid dirtying customer carpets.

According to several drivers, most customers have declined the offer.

Several supermarkets have trialled online deliveries past customers’ front doors. Waitrose in 2018 began a trial of its ‘While You’re Away’ service that involved customers fitting a smart lock on their front doors that could be unlocked by drivers using a temporary 24-hour code that customers sent to Waitrose via app the night before delivery.

Once inside the property, drivers – wearing a body camera, footage from which could be requested by customers – would put chilled or frozen goods in the fridge or freezer and leave everything else on a kitchen counter. The supermarket had planned to roll out the service to the whole of the UK, but Covid scuppered the ambition, which has not been revived.

Asda too hinted at a similar trial in 2019 – referencing then parent company Walmart’s InHome service – before the pandemic thwarted its likelihood of happening.