A lot of people are still skeptical about buying their groceries online. Delivery delays, order mishaps, poor product quality — these are just some of the concerns that many people have with buying online in general, but seems to be slightly exaggerated for grocery shopping. We are more comfortable buying everything else online, but for groceries we just feel the need to be at the grocers even if we don’t want to.
But the demand for online grocery shopping is steadily beginning to increase, and more hopeful online grocers are starting to pop up in recent years that may have increased this momentum. If you are still not convinced that your local online grocer is worth the extra online shopping account, here are the top 5 reasons why we think it would be.
Number 5: They are very communicative
Despite having no physical presence most online stores are easy to communicate with. They have to be as anxious customers are bad or business. Not as quick as being there in person, but you will never be left in the dark. In fact most will take the initiative and inform you of any changes or problems with your order as soon as possible. If an item is unexpectedly out of stock or those in stock are not of the best quality they will inform their customers well before the delivery. They may ask if you would like to exchange or cancel that item and have the amount returned, or maybe even get a discount for your next purchase. It depends on their policy, but you can always ask before your first purchase with them. So far all the online supermarkets we’ve encountered have a notable social media presence and very communicative through all their communications channels in including their social media accounts.
Number 4: You can buy anytime, anywhere
All you need is a device with an internet browsing function, and an internet connection. You can order your groceries anytime you want. Having a sleepless night? Order your groceries! Having a late night out with friends and suddenly you remember your empty fridge at home? Order your groceries! There’s a global pandemic and you’re asked to stay home? Order your groceries! It’s even better when you buy from home. I’m sure it has happened to you at least once. You made a list and you were sure that those are all you need. Then you got home half an hour later only to find that you forgot about the carton of milk expiring tomorrow. Well not anymore. If you shop through an internet browser or app, before making the final payment you can just walk into your kitchen to double check.
Number 3: Increased productivity
The worst part of grocery shopping is the queuing. It is boring and highly unproductive. You achieve nothing in a queue, and for most of us our queuing starts the moment we get on the road. We queue at the traffic lights, we queue to get into the parking lot, we queue at the weighing stations, and then we queue at the cashier. We don’t have the hard numbers, but it wouldn’t be far fetched to estimate that you could be spending up to half of your 1 hour shopping trip just waiting for your turn. There is no such thing with online shopping. In fact you can do your grocery shopping while you are stuck in a different queue! You have that one day every 1 or 2 weeks to settle all your business. Going to the post office, cashing out at an ATM, sending your car in for a service, and of course buying the groceries. Why not do that last one whilst waiting in line for the other ones?
Number 2: Quality assurance
Yes, you can’t look let alone touch the things you just bought. You just have to pray that everything will be there in good condition when the package arrives at your doorstep. Produce and other fresh products are the main concern. Maybe there is some green tomatoes thrown in, or the bananas you get are just too brown and bruised. Maybe the pasteurized milk arrived just a tad too warm. If that happens — and remember people are online — what would be the easiest thing to do? You guessed it, complain. So it is in their best interest for online supermarkets to provide the best quality products for their online customers. The flak that they would receive from dissatisfied customers will be extra work for their complaints department, and would surely be bad for marketing if those complaints emerge in social media.
Number 1: You can probably save some money
You can save money in a few ways when buying your groceries online. There’s the obvious fuel savings of course. Spending less time in traffic could shave a noticeable amount off your monthly fuel expenditure. If you take public transport then you can pocket that weekly spending for something more useful. You can also save money by being able to focus a lot better on your shopping list. We have all done this. On our way to the frozen section we might see something new and interesting, like a “Limited Edition” Pringles flavor. So of course we have to try it. Then on the way to the cashier we pick up a drink to go along with the snack. Then at the cashier we might have some spare change, and those candy bars look fun to chew on while driving home. When you shop online you cannot be enticed by a snack aisle that doesn’t exist.
No doubt that online shopping is a big trend and more grocers are making their mark on the internet. It is entirely a personal decision whether you would take up on it or not, but if it’s available to you why not give it a try just once. It might make a trip to the grocers a rare occasion.