Online shopping has seen a boom since the coronavirus outbreak as people are urged to minimize physical contact and order groceries, medical supplies and other items online. As a result, the surge in online deliveries has caused delays and shortages in various areas - more so since groceries are highly perishable and require special delivery trucks (whose availability is limited). Unsurprisingly, some online delivery services have the earliest available delivery date one week away, and this can be frustrating. Here are tips to get the best deal and delivery date for online groceries.
Whether you choose to shop from a supermarket brand or one of the online-only retailers like Instacart or Amazon Fresh, it's advisable to compare the delivery services and availability of slots depending on your location. Certain services are popular than others in different locations and their delivery could be quicker. Before placing your orders, be sure to check how long you have to wait for your groceries to get delivered to avoid inconveniences.
Place Orders Late at Night
Order when everybody else is asleep. Some shoppers revealed that they’ve had no problems finding a delivery time when they order after midnight. Usually, time slots start opening up after midnight when stores have time to restock.
Shop from Local Stores
Call your local grocery store or specialty shops that stock groceries and have them delivered to your doorstep as soon as possible. The only drawback is that such services might be costly than chain grocery stores but when push comes to shove, local grocery stores are a lifesaver. In the Boston area, for example, Dave’s Fresh Pasta and Russo’s offer curbside pickup and delivery for shoppers living within a certain distance. You might find similar services in your area.
Opt for Curbside Pickup Instead
If you can drive to the grocery store, you can opt for curbside pickup that online services like Walmart and Instacart offer for free. With curbside pickup, you don’t need to pay the delivery fees, but you’ll pay the service fee. Plus, you’ll usually find that more pickup time slots are available compared to delivery time slots. This means that you can get your groceries way sooner than someone who's waiting for delivery.
Be Available on Phone in Case Things Change
Due to the current situation, demand for items is high and shopping online has become competitive, which means items are flying out of the shelves like movie tickets. Therefore, be available on the day of delivery to respond to calls or texts from your shopper regarding a refund or substitution. Keep in mind that your shopper cannot leave the store until you approve refunds/substitutions. This means that your availability will not only save the shopper the inconvenience of getting stuck in the store but also increase your chances of getting what you want.
The Best Grocery Delivery Services
Here are some of the well-known online grocery delivery services:
- AmazonFresh – best for Amazon customers
- Walmart Delivery – best for Walmart customers • Peapod – best for Stop & Shop customers
- Instacart – best for Costco members
- Shipt – best for Target customers
- Kroger Delivery – best for Kroger customers
To Consider Before Your Purchase
Each online grocery delivery service has a different process and delivery fees. Services like Amazon Fresh require monthly or annual memberships and the costs are usually higher without membership. Other direct retailers offering online grocery delivery services like Kroger and Walmart most likely offer the same in-store pricing. Stores like FreshDirect, which deals with high-quality organic products, are only available in a few states and their products are costly. On the other hand, Peapod and Shipt, which are known to offer great deals and coupons, are only available in select states. If you still can't get a grocery delivery, you can opt for boxes of fresh produce. In some regions, food stands offer pre-packed produce boxes containing a variety of different produce (perishable and non-perishable) at a flat fee. The only problem is that you can't choose the products since you're required to take the whole box plus its contents.
- Compare Services – it's always advisable to compare the prices, delivery process, and convenience and availability of services before placing orders with a particular service.
- Place Orders Late at Night – time slots start opening up after midnight and this makes it the best time to place orders.
- Shop from Local Stores – if you're having trouble finding a grocery delivery, opt for your local grocery shop although their services might be slightly higher than online delivery services.
- Opt for Curbside Pickup Instead – curbside pickup services save you the delivery fee, especially if you can drive to the store and pick up your groceries.
- Be Available on Phone in Case Things Change – due to the high demand, your shopper may not find all the items on your list. Therefore, be sure to be available on call for substitutions or refunds.
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