Waitrose has become the first British retailer to go live with a service that will allow customers to order goods from their mobile phones.
The move is part of the supermarket's strategy to win new customers in areas of the country, particularly the north of England, that are not served by Waitrose stores.
The group's Wap service, which will go live in the next few weeks, will initially allow customers to order last minute items like chocolates, flowers and champagne.
But within two years, Waitrose hopes to offer its customers the ability to order their weekly shopping from phones equipped with a barcode scanner.
"Customers will be able to scan the contents of their cupboards or items in a supermarket to order their shopping," said Mark Price, marketing director.
The service will initially be offered to customers of the [email protected] service, which delivers shopping to the workplace.
"We have caught the crest of the wave. There are supposed to be 10,000 Wap phones in the country, but there will be from 500,000 to a million by the end of the year," Price said.
Waitrose is working with WapWorld, which is a joint venture between Sir Bob Geldof's Eleven Alps media company, Amicus Digital and Jingo Communications, to develop the Wap service.
Waitrose said the cost of providing Wap was minimal. It would pay for itself in a matter of days.