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Best and worst supermarkets

Ocado

By Ellie Simmonds

Article 8 of 11

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Find out how hundreds of Ocado shoppers rate the online supermarket's app and website in our Ocado review.

Ocado is an online-only grocer – the only company in the annual Which? supermarkets survey not to have any bricks-and-mortar stores.

The retailer was founded in 2000, and today its delivery area covers more than 70% of UK households. But is it any good? 

In our latest supermarkets survey, 825 Ocado customers rated the retailer on everything from delivery slots and drivers to the quality of its food and value for money. This enabled us to work out star ratings for different factors as well as an overall customer score.

Which? members can log in to unlock the table below and reveal the ratings. If you're not yet a member, join Which? now for instant access to the results plus all of our online reviews.

Ocado review: is Ocado the UK's best online supermarket?

Ocado
Ease of finding products on the website Subscriber only content
Ease of finding products in the app Subscriber only content
Availability of convenient delivery slots Subscriber only content
Products being in stock Subscriber only content
Choice of substitute items Subscriber only content
Range of products Subscriber only content
Overall quality of own-label products Subscriber only content
Overall quality of fresh products Subscriber only content
Driver's service Subscriber only content
Availability of recyclable packaging/products with no packaging Subscriber only content
Value for money Subscriber only content
Customer score Subscriber only content

As well as accessing the supermarket scores, logging in or joining Which? will enable you to see how Ocado fared when we reviewed items from champagne and cheese to washing-up liquid and dishwasher tablets.

How Ocado works

Ocado is the world’s largest dedicated online supermarket, and also the UK’s fastest-growing grocer, with sales rising by 12.5% year-on-year according to Kantar Worldpanel.

The retailer was founded in 2000, and today its delivery area covers more than 70% of UK households.

Having been set up as an online-only grocer right from the get-go arguably gives Ocado a technological edge over its competitors - and these days the UK’s only purely online supermarket uses robots to pick and pack people’s shopping. 

Designed to mimic the human hand, the bots whizz around on gridded tracks and use their grippers to collect the items in  your order. They know the weight, size and shape of different products, and are programmed to put heavy items at the bottom, meaning less chance of your bottles and cans squashing your  fruit and bread. 

Ocado operates exclusively from four large warehouses and 16 smaller 'spokes'. Ocado claims that being able to avoid using stores, where other pesky shoppers might buy the items you ordered online, makes the supply chain shorter and  more tightly controlled. 

Fresh food often comes into Ocado's warehouses on the same day it goes out to customers. This, the supermarket claims, results in less food waste and fewer substitutions than you would get from competitors. Not having to fit everything into a store also enables Ocado to offer a greater breadth of products and experiment with smaller, niche brands. 

What's next for Ocado?

Another part of its business model is selling its tech to rivals - in fact, Ocado is now one of the UK’s most valuable tech firms. And there's more innovation to come, with boss Tim Steiner revealing that driverless technology could be next on Ocado’s techy to-do list. 

But it's not all good news. In February 2019 a fire broke out at its Andover warehouse, causing substantial damage. The site was responsible for roughly 10% of produce for deliveries, with more than 30,000 orders processed there each week. Ocado warned that there could be an effect on its ability to meet customer demand as it seeks other routes for fulfillment. 

From 1 September 2020 Ocado will start selling Marks & Spencer food and drink, instead of the Waitrose-branded products it's best known for.

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