Is Online Grocery Shopping For You? Tips to help you decide
Turning to the internet for grocery shopping has gone from trend to routine.
One study found that more than 70% of consumers bought groceries online in the three-month period of 2022, and more than half increased their online purchases in the previous year.
With a simple login to your favorite grocery store on your phone app or a simple system on your computer, you can put items in your cart and have them ready for pickup or delivery to your door within hours. It can save time and is certainly convenient, but what about cost and quality?
Here are some tips to help you decide if online grocery shopping is right for you.
Pros: Doing grocery inventory, making shopping lists, managing traffic to the market, walking the aisles, waiting in line, checking out and driving home to unload the week’s groceries and then putting them away is a lot of time!
When you shop online, the app pulls up a shopping list it remembers from the previous week and quickly adds weekly staples like milk, bread and apples. Less time away from home shopping means more time for important things like family, vacation or work.
Disadvantages: Whether it’s your current grocery store or a service that does shopping for you, there’s an initial time commitment when doing the research to find an app you like. You also need to create an account and learn how to navigate the site.
Pros: Avoiding impulse buys can be a money-saving advantage when shopping online. There’s no temptation to grab things you don’t know you need, which means it’s easier to stick to your shopping list and stay on budget.
The ability to comparison shop for quality and price is another plus. You can easily compare prices on a per-unit basis across different brands, or jump between different grocery store sites to see if you’re getting the best deals. There are often online offers, including coupons, to help keep costs down.
The best incentive to stay on budget? As you add items to your digital cart, the app keeps a running total. If you go over budget, remove the less important item. If you choose delivery, you’ll also save money on gas.
Disadvantages: Note the handling and shipping fees. There are ways to reduce or eliminate delivery fees, such as joining a subscription service, buying a minimum dollar amount of groceries, taking advantage of special offers, or simply having your groceries picked up curbside.
Pros: Busy schedules, illness, caregiving — there are many situations that make online grocery shopping a great convenience, even a necessity. Being able to stay at home makes it perfect for grocery shopping, online shopping, or use this time to work, hit the gym, or indulge in some much-needed self-care when you’re feeling down or need constant attention from a loved one.
Disadvantages: If you want to select your fresh produce like produce and fish for the best quality, online shopping may not be for you. While many services offer quality assurance, some shoppers choose to buy perishables in person and buy other items online.
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