Sainsbury’s has reported a 20 percent growth in its online business, thanks to an improved mobile website.

The improved website enables “customers to order easily from handheld devices while on the move,” the supermarket retailer said in its first quarter trading statement for the period ended 9 June 2012.

Sainsbury’s launched its mobile-optimised website for groceries last month, making more than 20,000 grocery products available for purchase via mobile devices. It followed the launch of a mobile site for non-food last year.

Changes to the online grocery website include showing customers their usual purchases first, bigger images, and alerts to missed promotions linked to goods put in the shopping basket.

As well as an optimised website, Sainsbury’s has a smartphone app that is available for Apple iPhones, Androids and from the Nokia Ovi app store.

Last month, Sainsbury’s said it would be investing in its IT systems to support and develop its growing online platforms. It revealed that its online grocery division has an annual turnover of around £800 million, from more than 165,000 orders a week.

Its first quarter trading results also showed a 3.6 percent increase in total sales, with the retailer’s convenience stores continuing to be a strong growth driver, with sales in these stores growing year-on-year by 16 percent.

Supermarket chain rival Tesco recently revealed that it has deployed application release automation software from Nolia, to speed up the way it prepares and releases new applications across its online business.