Online Grocery Shopping
Are you too busy or just a bit lazy? Either way, one of life’s chores is simpler – shopping online for groceries and having them delivered. It takes the stress out of having to rush to the grocery store right after work and dealing with crowds of shoppers. Buying online allows you to order non-perishable items from lists you create. Subscriptions are available through some services, such as Amazon, to have frequently used items automatically delivered at regular intervals.
The Benefits of Online Grocery Shopping
There are several other benefits associated with shopping online for groceries in addition to saving time. Depending on where you live, less gas is spent going to the store frequently. You are also less likely to buy impulsively and stick to a list. It also lessens the hassle and stress for many of having to carry groceries up flights of stairs or drag young children along.
Is shopping online for groceries actually less expensive? That will depend on the products you purchase. Online grocery shopping is a convenience, and for some, the time that they save is worth every penny. Online grocers offer savings on various products at any given time, just like a conventional supermarket. You can also save around 15% on items that are part of interval subscription delivery. There are also items available in bulk that will be less expensive. Particularly with Amazon’s site, there are thousands of items available and it shows you the amount of savings from suggested retail on each, with some being substantial. Amazon also offers break on shipping or free shipping on select orders.
In general, an online buyer should not expect a tremendous savings because of the convenience. Manufacturer’s coupons are typically not applied. However, a little bit of financial savvy will assist in keeping more to a budget. For one thing, you can see how much you are spending at any given time in your checkout. You can also compare prices on similar items, and may opt for a cheaper brand to stay within budget.
As mentioned before, online grocery shopping will assist with keeping you true to your list. The initial list you create is saved, and can be added to or deleted from on future visits. It prevents you from impulsively purchasing an item because you are hungry or because you liked the packaging. Supermarkets have a way of selectively arranging items to appeal to our visual senses, and this way you do not get caught up in those tricks.
You can also save money and time by knowing what exactly you have in your pantry. How often have you gone to the store and wondered whether or not you had an item? You may buy it and discover you already have two of the item, or decide not to purchase and discover you needed it.
Shipping costs seemed to be the only downside for some. Depending on the overall size of the order and any subscription based order, the shipping may be free in many cases. Again, this cost is considered with the convenience factor. In general, Amazon was less expensive with shipping because it does not have to support a brick and mortar storefront.
Online grocery shopping is available 24/7, and you can set your delivery dates. Nearly every type of nonperishable item is available; organic, vegetarian, gluten-free, cruelty-free, etc. Beverages, cereals, baking supplies, household cleaners, snacks, canned goods, and health and beauty goods are only some of the items available.
Depending on where you live, some online grocers offer perishable and refrigerated items for quicker delivery. For those that like to see and feel produce, or be certain their items are the freshest, a visit to the supermarket is still essential.
The Five Best Foods to Buy Online
Based upon comparisons, there are five items that save significantly by purchasing online.
Coffee. This item averaged nearly 20% less than its retail price. A large number of brands are available and appear to be priced very competitively with each other. Most of these were in quantities larger than a pound so that you saved by buying bulk.
Baby Nutrition. Formula and baby food averaged 15% to 50% less in some cases, depending on the quantity purchases. Not only is this important for new parents on budget, but the time saved by not bringing baby to the store is invaluable.
Gluten-Free. With the rise of gluten allergies, the demand for gluten-free products is tremendous. However, many supermarkets carry a limited amount of product, much of it rarely discounted. By purchasing these through an online grocer, the savings were around 20% less for quantities of four or more. Even so, you can compare brands and see more options.
Pasta. The savings are at 30% or more for pasta varieties. Typically sold in boxes of six, the savings were worth it for this essential item in many households.
Organic Items. This popular niche for eating can see substantial savings, up to 50% off based upon quantity. Steel cut oats, boxed items, baking supplies, and more benefited. Organic foods tend to be higher than conventional, and an online grocer’s buying power will assist in saving more money.
Online Grocery Trends
A recent Nielson survey estimated that online grocery shopping is nearly a $4 billion business, and will only continue to grow. Tech savvy Generation Y’ers lead the pack in purchases. “I love being able to avoid lines at the store,” muses 27-year old Kate Zimmerman of Chicago, IL. “It has helped me stay within budget since money is tight. I do feel like I’m getting a better deal in the long run.”
Nearly two-thirds of Americans have internet access, making online grocery shopping more accessible to a broad section of demographics. The Nielson survey points out that mobile service is a huge factor in online grocery shopping. “Online grocery shoppers are almost twice as likely to access the Internet on-the-go
through their cellular phones, presenting grocers with an additional touch point to engage shoppers via mobile coupons and grocery lists,” states the survey. This growth will only continue to add convenience and better pricing to the buyer.