Online food shopping is firmly established, but if they're really going to double their sales, as the IGD claimed last week, retailers still have a long way to go. Product returns are a nightmare for most retailers, but the problem is exacerbated when dealing with perishable goods bought online.

A surprising number of food retailers spend their IT and marketing budgets on website design and usability, but fail to provide the correct information about products or even put the wrong images online. Having a user-friendly website with no product information management is like owning a Ferrari with no engine it may look great but it's not going anywhere.

If these basic errors were reduced, there would be fewer returns, consumer confidence would increase and grocery shopping would be as successful online as it is in store.

Then, and only then, would we see the level of online activity predicted by the IGD.

Mark Thorpe, MD, Stibo Systems