Coronavirus: Ocado alters website algorithm to make deliveries ‘fairer’

Ocado vans

Ocado says it closed its website yesterday for the first time ever so it could begin making changes to its algorithm to make deliveries “fairer” for would-be customers.

Ocado chief financial officer Duncan Tatton-Brown said today the website had been closed so the retailer’s technicians could make changes to the governing algorithm to improve the “fairness” by which people can book delivery slots.

While he wouldn’t be drawn on exactly what those changes would be, Tatton-Brown indicated Ocado was considering increasing limits on certain product lines, implementing means of stopping customers booking multiple delivery slots and even ways of prioritising the vulnerable and sick for delivery.

“The decision to close the website was not made because we couldn’t cope with the capacity,” said Tatton-Brown. “The website was closed so we could make changes to the code and technology that supports it to enable us to share our capacity in a more fair and accessible way to all of our customers.”

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