We have so much choice when it comes to grocery shopping these days. There are more supermarkets around, like Aldi and Costco, increasing our choice of where to shop, plus we can choose to shop either in store or online. But which is better? While it depends what suits your lifestyle better, there are pros and cons to both shopping in store and shopping online.
Convenience of shopping at home Nothing beats being able to shop at home at any time of the day or night, without having to even get dressed.
Easier to keep under budget It can be hard to keep under budget in the supermarket unless you carry a calculator around the store with you. When shopping online you can see exactly how much you have spent at all times, and can easily remove items from your cart to bring your shopping back under budget.
Eliminates impulse purchases Supermarkets are cleverly designed by marketing experts to encourage us to spend as much as possible, by placing products the supermarkets want to push at the ends of isles, and placing magazines and chocolate bars at the checkouts to encourage last minute impulse buys while you wait. None of these distractions exist when shopping online, which is perfect if you find it hard to say no to temptation.
Save money on petrol Shopping online saves you money on the petrol you would have otherwise used to drive to and from the supermarket.
Easier to compare brands The supermarkets online stores feature great sorting function to help you choose the lowest priced item. Just search for the item you are after, and sort the result by lowest unit price.
Saves time You don't have to spend time driving to the grocery store, finding a park, actually doing the shopping, waiting at the checkout, loading up the car and then driving home. Once you get the hang of shopping online you will find it extremely quick and easy, saving your precious time for those things you would much rather be spending it on.
No store opening time restrictions This can be great for people that struggle to make it to the supermarket during opening hours. Online shopping can be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Easier with kids If you have young kids, you will understand just how difficult trips to the supermarket can be. Shopping online means you completely avoid those supermarket tantrums, and you can even shop while they are asleep.
Now for the cons:
Can cost more than in store The prices on some products are higher online than in store. While advertised specials are the same both in store and online, Coles charge a higher price on some products, which is intended to be a staff picking fee.
Mark downs aren't available online You can find some great bargains on meat, fresh produce and bakery items if you are in stores at the right time, but these markdowns don't happen online. If you like to hunt for heavily reduced items online shopping may not suit you.
Delivery fees There are delivery fees involved, which can be avoided during certain delivery times and when spending over a usually high threshold. Click and collect is also available if you really want to avoid delivery fees.
Delivery times You will need to keep a few hours of your day free, as delivery times are given in windows of 2 to 3 hours, depending on the supermarket.
Delivery windows need to be chosen in advance The popular delivery times will generally book out quickly, so you might need to place your order two or more days in advance, which means there is some forward planning involved.
Products can be missed from orders Every so often there will be products missing from your order, and while its easy to get a refund or store credit, it still means that you have to make a trip to the grocery store to pick up that item, when the whole point of ordering online was to avoid the supermarket.
Product substitutions wont always be what you wanted If one of the items you ordered is out of stock the person packing your order will pick an alternative product for you as a substitute, but it may not be a product you like.
You cant pick your own fresh produce If you are picky about finding the best quality fruit and vegetables, you might struggle with online shopping. You will be stuck with whatever fresh produce is picked for you.
You need to be home Generally, you will need to be home to receive your online order, you cant just have it left by your front door. This can be a little restrictive if you live a busy lifestyle.
Do you shop inline or in store?