Ocado has told customers it was “sorry” that it was not able to provide grocery delivery to as many customers as it would like.
Mel Smith, the online grocer’s chief executive, told customers in a blog over the weekend that she was aware customers were struggling to secure delivery slots while in lockdown.
“No matter how hard we work, we simply do not have the capacity right now to meet all the demand we are seeing from existing customers, let alone new ones,” she said.
We know that many of you are not getting as much access to our deliveries as you would like. So we wanted to explain what has been happening and what we are doing.
— ocado (@Ocado) April 4, 2020
According to the blog post, Ocado has seen web traffic 100 times higher than usual, while enquiries to its contact centre were up 500 per cent.
Despite stopping anyone new from signing up to its service, Ocado said “practically every one” of its nearly 800,000 customers are now placing at least one order every week.
Average order size has also reportedly risen 50 per cent during lockdown meaning fewer orders can be delivered with each journey.
“With these new bigger grocery shops our customers are doing, even running our warehouses 24/7 with new colleagues to support us, we cannot deliver to more than 250,000 homes in any given week,” Smith continued.
“These are unprecedented and exceptional times and we have made some choices that will not be what some people want to hear. But I can promise you that we’ll be really clear about what we’re doing and why.”
Ocado added that it was prioritising deliveries for customers on the government’s shield list, its long-standing most loyal customers and its own staff working on the front line.