As online delivery technology grows, so does the competition among large grocery stores. Supermarkets might have experience in delivering great customer service in their stores, but when it comes to online shopping, most fail to offer that same level of service.
Whether it’s higher prices, selling stale vegetables or late deliveries, each company seems to have their own flaws they’ll need to improve. As an active online shopper, I’ve tried many of these online grocery services and here are my experiences.
Peapod has the most advance search and filtering capabilities among the ones on my list. As seen in the image above, their sort and filters allow you to quickly see the products that meet your needs. Product descriptions include cooking instructions, ingredients and nutritional information. Overall, the prices are cheaper than AmazonFresh and the quality is really good.
The delivery time has been accurate for me most of the time. Though it also depends on the time slot you choose and if you choose a less convenient time frame (for example 10am-noon on a Wednesday) it gives you a discount. The drivers are really nice and professional. They never make you feel rushed as they help you get your groceries in the door. The packaging is sorted by product category and well stacked in the bags.
I first started using AmazonFresh when they first launched. The online experience was great and things were promising until they delivered my order. Every single thing was wrapped up in cooler bags, which felt like excessive packaging, but not a deal breaker. I opened the bags and oh my! Most of the produce I ordered was soggy and looked miniature compared to the actual photos on their site. Some of my order was missing and replaced with random things that I didn’t order. I wanted to review my experience on their site, however my review got deleted. Seemed as though Amazon didn’t want it’s potential customers to know my bad experience.
After Amazon acquired Whole Foods, I decided to try their services again. Things seemed to improve a little. The quality of their produce was great compared to my past orders. Instead of coolers bags, they delivered my order in large paper bags with cold ice packs in them. This time the packaging was more manageable but I didn’t like the way they put the raw foods and ready-to-eat foods all in one place.
Another thing to note is that they make deliveries in unmarked cars. It was very strange to me that the drivers handed me my Amazon packages at my door and took off as fast as they could.
The Bad 2
Jet.com is like Walmart’s way of reaching wealthy young millennials in urban cities. From the pretty packaging to the well designed marketing campaigns, Jet keeps their brand identity well designed and consistent. Although my overall shopping experience was pleasant, their product items lack information. Users really appreciate it when retailers show all available product information: stock availability, ingredients, nutritional info, weight, descriptions, photos, etc. Since the users don’t have the ability to grab the item and peek around the packaging, retailers should include as many details as they can.
They use an excessive amount of packaging for every single thing they ship! The big cardboard box is stuffed with plastic-wrapped insulation pads and bunch of cold ice packs. Each box was heavy and clumsy to carry. I had to make multiple trips to carry all the boxes to my third floor apartment. Since their target audience, millennials, are more likely to live apartments, the packages should be designed to be easy to move around. I don’t want my eggs to be broken but I also don’t want to spend hours to break down cardboard boxes and sort them out for recycling. Pretty packages doesn’t solve user problems, functional products do.
Shoprite from Home
Prices are significantly cheaper with Shoprite from Home. Though their delivery fee evens it out since it was an extra $20.00, they have nothing to offer: expensive delivery, bad customer service, bad UX.
The first bad interaction started when the site kept logging me out and they have no option to save the password. The ui lacks confirmation dialogs and has way too many steps to complete basic tasks: sign in, view account, update cart. The checkout process is overly complicated and takes a long time to fill out all the required information.
Their delivery slots are not user friendly at all. You need to choose a time range and you have to be present during the delivery. There is no notification or text update service so you have to wait up to three hours for your order to be delivered.
Once I received my order, I noticed that multiple items were missing. I called their customer service and was on hold for 20 min. I kept getting disconnected from the customer service so I had to call back and repeat the same process each time. I finally got connected with someone and they agreed to deliver my missing items. I waited another two hours only to find that some items from my order were still missing. When I called back, the person on the line said the next delivery can’t happen today. After wasting so much time talking, I decided to get my money back instead. They agreed but didn’t send me a confirmation email or online receipt stating the refund.
In order to keep up with the growing market, supermarkets need to make serious improvements to their services. When it comes to online shopping the term user experience extends well beyond our screens and digital products. Retailers should emphasize this by focusing on the entire customer journey not just the on-screen experience.