We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Web grocers still green

Virtual trolleys as wonky as real ones

Doing your grocery shopping online can be slow and unreliable, according to a study by consumer campaigners Which?.

Which?Online sent 25 volunteers to the Asda, Iceland, Sainbury's and Tesco websites. Most were disappointed, finding that online shopping saved them little, if any, time compared with their normal shopping trips.

Over half the orders took more than an hour and a half to complete, mainly because the shoppers had problems finding goods and sites crashed fairly regularly.

Many volunteers couldn’t locate everyday products and, even when they did, were not told if the item was in stock when ordering. The mystery shoppers were unsatisfied with replacement goods sent out and complained that many mistakes were made with their orders.

“Supermarkets should make more of an effort to keep everything listed on their site in stock,” said Simone Collins, who compiled the report for Which?Online. “[People should not be] left short of items they’ve ordered or with unacceptable substitutes.”

“Replacement goods are as near to the requested item as possible,” said a spokesperson for Asda. “It would be impossible to constantly keep track of all produce on the shop floor and notify users immediately that stock was out of order.”

Asda said any unsuitable goods could be returned - at the customer's expense.

Worse, most of the shoppers were sent items with imminent ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ dates.

“Fresh food should be just that. Fresh,” said Collins. “We were actually sent a stale loaf.”


IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Best Photoshop Tutorials 2014: 10 inspiring step-by-step guides to creating amazing art,...

IDG UK Sites

Apple TV expert tips: get US Apple TV content, watch Google Play, use multiple Apple IDs and more