I have been regularly buying my groceries online for about six months. I have used two different supermarkets but quickly found one suited me better and now use that store all the time. For me there are a number of advantages to buying my groceries this way and I am pleased with the excellent service I receive.
Each supermarket chain will have somewhat different ways of doing things and different policies. For that reason I won't be too specific about the policies used by the store I order my groceries through. Also, some things have changed even within the six months I have been ordering online.
Reasonable Delivery Fee Before I started shopping online, one of my main concerns was the thought of paying a hefty delivery charge. Currently I am able to get away with a $4 fee if I choose a wide time bracket such as 2pm to 10pm. This would not suit those with busy schedules who do not spend much time at home but it works for me. There is also a $4 fee if I choose to get my delivery in the 6am to 2pm bracket but this doesn't suit me as it means I can't order fresh bakery products.
There are ways to get free delivery but as my orders aren't in excess of $150 and I don't use the supermarket's Mastercard these don't apply to me.
Wide Variety Of Delivery Times If I have a week when I am out a lot during the day I can choose to have my groceries delivered in the evening. The other alternative is early in the day between 6am and 8am but I can't get fresh bread with an early delivery. The fee will be more than $4 at those times.
Refrigerated truck delivering online grocery orders Image by Marie Vonow
Ease Of Ordering I like being able to shop at a time that suits me in the comfort of my own home, sipping a coffee and listening to my choice of music.
The first couple of times I ordered online it took me a long time to locate the specific products I wanted.There is so much choice these days and I wanted to make sure I got the correct brand, size etc. Now it is a breeze because all the items I have ordered previously are recorded in 'my lists'. I tend to be a creature of habit and order many of the same products regularly.
I still make a list of things I need to buy. If I want to check on anything I can easily go and do so part way through ordering.
I am able to nominate for the store to make a substitution for items that are not available. There are a few items I would rather manage without than get something substituted. When an item is substituted it will be the same or a higher value but I get charged the price of the item I ordered. This has meant on occasions I have received meat priced as high as $37 a kilo when what I ordered was much less.
Saving money It is easy to see which products are on special and how much I am saving. Many of my regular purchases are on special once every few weeks so I can stock up when they are reduced. I find I can save money shopping this way.
The price per 100g is clearly shown. Sometimes I have trouble reading this in the supermarket if the product is on a low shelf or up high.
Service On the morning of delivery I receive an email to say what time to expect it. This means I can go out for a while if I want.
Shopping Online Means Never-
Having to look for a shopping trolley
Loading up a trolley and then finding it has weird steering
Battling with a laden trolley in a sloping car park
Getting wet loading your car on a rainy day
Getting stuck in a slow queue
Struggling to get a product from the back of the bottom shelf. (Shorter customers would add never having to stretch to get something off a high shelf.)
Having to dodge around staff stocking shelves or customers having trouble deciding which product to buy
Realising you left your shopping bags in the car or at home
Finding your icecream has melted on a hot day because your car was hot
I find there are many advantages to online shopping but I still sometimes buy a few items in person. It can be good to look at the range of products available. I often buy fruit and vegetables at the market rather than the supermarket. Shopping in person can have the added pleasant surprise of bumping into a friend I haven't seen in a while.