1 July 2015 - Janet Bird
Half year results released by online grocery retailer Ocado show new customer numbers have grown 30 percent year on year.
As a result, the number of active users of the service - classed as those who have shopped with Ocado over the past 12 weeks - rose from 396,000 customers in the first half of 2014 to 471,000, an increase of 18.9 percent.
The rise is thought to be in part due to the rise of the smartphone, which has increased accessibility to online shopping, and efforts by Ocado to shed the upmarket image it acquired due to its close ties with Waitrose.
The rise in new customers helped boost gross retail sales, which increased from £431.5 million to £511.9 million in the 24 weeks to May 17 - a rise of 15.7 percent.
Pre-tax profits, however, were down from £7.5 million during the same six months period last year to £7.2 million; the result of price cuts created by fierce competition in the grocery sector.