Before the current pandemic forced most of the world to seek refuge indoors and avoid human contact, only about 7% of people in Western countries did their food shopping online. Suddenly stores were expected to deliver to more than 90% of homes. Not surprisingly, there were teething problems. The situation has now stabilized, and this article will look to see what the benefits and drawbacks of this have been and whether we can expect shopping habits will go back to pre-COVID ways or is online grocery shopping likely to be the new normal.
No Need to Leave the House
Pro: the biggest advantage in this current climate and one that will convince couch potatoes and go-getters alike is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Don’t feel like getting dressed and going out, but really need milk? Simply hop online! There are even chat functions so you can speak to a real person to sort out any ordering issues.
Con: unfortunately, if you’re not that tech-savvy, navigating certain grocery store websites can be a nightmare due to poor layout and design choices. This might not be much of an issue in the future, however, since most stores are responding to feedback and making the required improvements.
Pro: Most online grocery stores offer either home delivery or store collection options, which in the future can mean that you’ll easily be able to fit your food shopping around your other commitments. You’ll also enjoy not needing to queue at the checkout to pay, no parking hassles as you search for a space in the shopping mall car park and not dealing with the in-store crowds if you have to shop at peak times.
Con: There aren’t many downsides with home delivery or in-store collection, aside from the fact that you may need to pay a premium for desirable slots like Friday evenings or over the weekend. For major public holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, you may find that slots have been booked months in advance, so it might be useful to have contingency plans for these sorts of events.
Freshness and Quality
Pro: Grocery stores can’t afford bad reviews, so will go the extra mile to ensure that they are sending out the highest quality fresh produce for home deliveries. Reputable stores will also offer no-questions-asked refund policies on the vast majority of their groceries, which they will want to avoid triggering.
Con: No matter how fresh the produce, having someone else choose your vegetables and meats will never seem as good as if you had done it yourself.
Pro: As we mentioned before, shopping online means that you’ll be saving money on gas and parking. You’ll also be less likely to the impulse buys that come with actually going to the store. Furthermore, lots of online stores offer promotions that you won’t find if you go in physically. You’ll also be able to use comparison sites to find even more deals without needing to visit each store individually. Putting all these together, you can see how the savings can accumulate.
Cons: the only major downside is that popular items may get sold out quickly. Even if the store offers substitute items, these may not be appropriate, which can lead to disappointment.
So, is Online Food Shopping Here to Stay?
There’s little doubt that online shopping is a growing trend. The convenience of being able to shop from home 24/7 is a no-brainer for most people. However, some people will always be worried about the quality and freshness of the food to be delivered. At the end of the day, there is no doubt that online grocery stores like WE R HERE 4 U will be constant features of our lives going forward.