Ocado has been forced to shut down its mobile app and begin turning away new orders as unprecedented demand for online food orders pushes it to breaking point.
The online grocer officially took its app offline yesterday citing performance issues “driven by continued high demand”.
A reported 1000 per cent jump in site traffic also forced Ocado to inform customers not to wait if they intended to place a new order as it had “no new delivery slots for the next few days”.
Hi everyone. We want to keep you totally updated so our CEO, Melanie Smith has written an open letter to you.
— ocado (@Ocado) March 17, 2020
This comes after it introduced a new initiative earlier this week in which customers were placed in a virtual queuing system where they had to wait up to 30 minutes to place an order.
The online-only grocer’s website and app crashed on Saturday afternoon, with customers greeted by a message stating:
“You are in a virtual queue. Sorry for the wait. Demand is very high at the moment so you may have to wait a little longer than usual to access the website. Your wait time will be more than fifteen minutes.”
Ocado is far from the only retailer struggling under the weight of fresh demand for online grocery delivery orders, with Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons all showing no available delivery slots.
Waitrose.com has seen further disruption becoming intermittently unavailable since yesterday, following problems last week preventing shoppers from being able to complete online orders.
Sainsbury’s also warned of “extremely high demand” leading to no delivery slots for the next three weeks, while Tesco and Morrisons showed no delivery slots until next months for some parts of the country.
Earlier in the week, Amazon confirmed it had experienced a technical glitch affecting online grocery orders through its Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh delivery services in the US.
Amazon came up against problems on Sunday March 15, as panic buying left shelf stores empty and the retailer’s Whole Food, Amazon Fresh and Prime businesses struggling to meet delivery capacity.