Ocado has just made its maiden profit and inspires affection from customers most retailers can only dream of; what’s not to like?

This morning I appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme to talk about Ocado, which announced its first pre-tax profit this morning. It was only £200,000 for the first half, but even so, for a business which many doubted could ever make a profit, it was a significant landmark.

Knowing I was appearing on the radio, I carried out a very unscientific poll of people I was speaking to at the weekend about what they thought Ocado was. Without exception, the first thing they said was Waitrose.

And therein lies the problem. Ocado’s first half performance was acceptable - although held back by capacity contraints in the distribution centre - but the shares have been hammered today, down 9% at the time of writing.

Waitrose is gearing up for a big marketing push when, from the start of July, the restrictions on its freedom to trade inside the M25 come off altogether. This will undoubtedly make clear to consumers that Ocado isn’t the Waitrose website, but that Waitrose.com is.

That doesn’t mean that Ocado shoppers will desert in their droves. Their brilliant service - which I experienced for myself for the first time last week and can definitely vouch for - means its followers are very loyal.

But what it will mean is that acquiring new customers will become that much harder. Today’s announcement was packed with ways in which Ocado is different - the Tesco brand price match, the plans for a non-food offer, and the latest, a tie-up to sell French foods with Carrefour - but none of these will be enough to persuade many shoppers to choose Ocado over Waitrose.com. Add in the free delivery offered by Waitrose, and then longer term Morrisons’ plans to launch Fresh Direct in the capital, and it’s no wonder the City is a bit nervous about Ocado right now.