Ah, the weekly routine that is grocery shopping. The one standard, mind numbing, pack the kids up, battle crowds and lineups weekly task. It really sucks. Each week we head to the grocery store on Sunday to battle crowds and do the task that is grocery shopping. Some weeks its smooth other weeks, depending on the circumstances (kids, crowds, hung over, sick, other tings to do), its not fun.
I have been seeing the commercials and online advertisements lately for online shopping for groceries and picking them up for a couple of stores including @WalMartCanada and @loblawson. So I decided to do a bit of further research online for reviews and found a few (mainly U.S. reviews) but not many. But the ones I found were positive. I did have a few reservations about shopping for groceries online such as:
- Would the quality of produce and meats be the same as I would pick out?
- Would I get everything that I ordered?
- Is is easy enough to do?
So I went ahead to checking out WalMart's website and downloading Android app. The website is great, when searching for items you can easily compare items from different brands easily and choose the one you want. Once you add your items to your cart in your account you can go back and edit your list up to 1:30 a.m. of the day you are scheduling to pickup. It also gives the option to accept substations for any items that they may not have in stock. Next I tried the app and this is even better, within the app you can scan barcodes of items to add them to your cart. Especially useful when you run out of an item. Just scan it and add it. Once we had everything we needed in the online shopping cart we checked out, involving a simple process of inputting a few details, selecting a pickup store and time, then paying with your credit card. After that was complete a nice little email came in instructing:
- Date and Time of pickup;
- Location of pickup;
- Information about adding more items if needed prior to the deadline;
- and a full listing of the items that we selected.
The next day I drove to WalMart and parked in one of the four clearly identified reserved pickup spots and called the number. Someone answered right away and asked for my name and the parking number I was in. Once giving him the information he said they would be out within 15 minuets. Less than 5 minuets later one WalMart staffer came out pushing a metal cart that had different color bins stacked up (red, yellow, green), he introduced himself and we had a brief chat about the service while he loaded the bag into my car that went something like this:
- Him: Hi I'm Mr. WalMart Employee (I can't remember his name)
- Me: Hi, Mr. WalMart Employee, I'm Adam.;
- Him: Can you please review and sign;
- Me: How is this service going?
- Him: So far it has been great. Since starting last summer we were getting about 20 orders a week. Last month (January) we were getting upwards of 96 orders a week. But there was also a promotion of if you ordered fore time in the month you would get a $40 gift card. right now we are getting about 80 orders a week.
- Me: Danm it, I missed out on that deal.
- Him: Don't worry it will be back in April;
- Me: Excellent, if this works out today, I'll be ordering more.
- Him: Glad to hear.
- Me: So when and who does the grocery picking?
- Him: Each morning at 5 a.m. the groceries are all picked for the Ottawa area in Orleans, bagged and placed in the different color containers depending what the items are (green = nonperishable items|yellow = veggies, fruit, perishables|red = frozen items) than shipped to the store that the pickup is due. So the items that are pick are the best since they are picked prior to anyone else (customers) being able to see, touch, mangle them.
- Me: Wow, sounds great. I'll guess I'll see once home and have them unpacked.
- Him: I hope you like the service and continue to use it.
I will say this person was so friendly and a pleasure to chat with. I offered him a tip and I was declined as it is something they are not allowed to accept.
And off I went heading home. Once home, I unloaded everything and unpacked it all on the counter top to do a inspection to make sure all items were there and they were the quality that I expected. And was I surprised. The quality of all the items was excellent and quite possibility better than we would have picked ourselves. There is not much more that I can say but I (we) will defiantly be using this service weekly as long as it continues to this level of service and quality. It was so easy, convenient, stress less, time saving, line skipping, non-impulse buying process. Currently pickup is available in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton/ Have your say in the comments section if you have tried it our or will be trying it out.