I have always been “anti” online shopping when it comes to groceries. I had a lot of pre-conceived ideas on the cost, practicality and product quality of delivered groceries. In my mind I was sure that delivery would cost between $15-$20, only available between 9am-5pm (when most of us are at work) and that they would offload sub-standard fresh produce onto the home delivery customer as it would be too much of an inconvenience to either a) return it to the store b) complain about it.
However, over the Christmas break I decided (mostly due to boredom) to have a look at the Coles online website – and impressed I was! Firstly delivery ranged from $8 -$13 depending on whether you wanted a two or three hour delivery window and they delivered between 6:30am – 10pm Monday to Friday or 6am – 7pm Saturday. At this point, I decided that for $8 it was worth a try, and chose the 3 hour delivery window between 6:30am – 9:30am.
My groceries were delivered at 7am and everything was how it should have been. My meat, fish, fruit and vegetables were all very fresh and exactly how I would have chosen them if I had done the shopping myself. Since then, I have not done my weekly shopping myself.
The website is easy to use and I find that you can go through your pantry and cupboards and see if you need anything else (it is also handy to be able to check the last flavour of cat food biscuits you purchased so Kitty doesn’t get the same flavour this week). You can also alter your submitted order up until the day before delivery – just in case you forgot something.
Since I have been ordering online, I have only had two small issues. One was a price issue on a product which went on special after I submitted my order (the purchase price of meat should be the lower of the price at the time you submitted the order or the price at the time your order was processed) – but quick call to Coles Online and they sorted out my account. This went beyond what they needed to do to resolve the issue, and the fact it was dealt with so well means it has not affected my willingness to use this service. My other issue was my fault – where I ordered Hokkein noodles for my dinner and did not realize that it was a single serve portion so a quick dash to the shop for more noodles was required. This taught me that when shopping online you need to pay particular attention to product sizes.
Not only has this service given me my Saturday mornings back, but I have also found a significant reduction in my food bill. If you take away the need to go to the shop, you also take away impulse buying as you walk down the aisles. I am no longer buying “half price” coat hangers or plastic containers that I don’t need or the packet of Tim Tams “just in case someone comes over” (but which I eat that night myself). Instead, when shopping online I find that you only search and purchase for the items you need. My weekly food bill is now 35% cheaper online than is was when I went to the shop – due to the absence of purchasing junk food and impulse buying. Online shopping has been good for not only my bank account, but my health as well.
I know that these benefits could be achieved by going to the shop and displaying just a little self control and discipline – but hey, for $8 I say let someone else do the shopping!