sainsbury's delivery

Sainsbury’s is offering its online grocery customers money back on substitutions that are more expensive than their original order.

The supermarket will refund customers the difference in price between their original choice and the substitution through shopping vouchers, in an initiative that began last week.

Customers will receive a voucher that can be used on their next online shop in their inbox or voucher wallet the day after their delivery.

The full rollout of the scheme comes two months after it was trialled in Northern Ireland. “We have only had positive feedback,” said a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman. “We’re continuously developing our successful online groceries business to deliver our strategy to make it easy for customers to shop with us whenever and wherever they want.”

Shore Capital’s head of research Clive Black said the proposition would resonate with customers, who were often “annoyed” by substitutions. “I don’t think it’s revolutionary but I do think it’s something that’s a tip toe in the right direction on behalf of the shopper,” he said.

The policy would also “act as an incentive for Sainsbury’s to get its availability right”, Black added.

Sainsbury’s only had one substitution per order in the two most recent online Grocer 33 mystery shops, conducted in April and June.

The supermarket posted a 9% growth in online sales in its annual results in May. Chief executive Mike Coupe said Sainsbury’s was keen to capitalise on the growing demand for online shopping - especially in the capital - and it launched a trial same-day delivery service in three stores in the South East last month.