Sainsbury's is trialling a mobile app that will allow its customers to build a virtual basket of favourite products before they shop, as well as scan goods at the shelf and pay for items via their smartphones.

The UK grocer's app can also help navigate customers around the shop to find their predicted items faster, and reduce the checkout process.

The system which further blurs the boundaries between physical and digital shopping is being trialled by Sainsbury's teams over the next few weeks, but there are plans to make it available to Nectar cardholders late next year.

Jon Rudoe, digital and technology director at Sainsbury's, said: "We know that customers' weekly shop doesn't start at our front door – they know what they like and they also like that search for a bargain.

"They still want to come into store - but with limited time, they want to be able to get their shop done quickly. That's why we're putting digital firmly at the forefront of our agenda, and putting technology in the hands of our customers."

Other recent upgrades to Sainsbury's digital capabilities include more flexible delivery slots, with bookings now available on the half hour as well as the hour, and greener delivery options that allow shoppers to book slots in one vehicle if it's delivering to neighbours.

Sainsbury's was one of the first wave of retailers to announce it will be partnering with mobile payments provider Zapp at some point in 2015.

The tech innovations come at a time of huge pressure for the UK grocery market, with Sainsbury's set to unveil the results of a strategic review later this week. Reports emerged over the weekend that the retailer is set to close a number of stores across the UK and reduce dividends when it makes the announcement on Wednesday.