Showing posts with label grocery delivery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grocery delivery. Show all posts

Monday, July 27, 2020

Instacart Vs Shipt Reviewed

My how we have become attached to the Grocery Delivery services Instacart and Shipt in my area. These services have been invaluable for no contact grocery delivery during a time of grocery challenge!


I've used Shipt and Instacart frequently in the past months and have been pleased with both services. Shipt is an annual fee of $99 with delivery for free on orders with a $35 minimum. Instacart is $99 annually or a monthly fee of $9.99 with Instacart Express and delivery for free on orders with a $35 minimum.

The App Design


Both the Instacart app and Shipt app have definitely progressed in the last year. The product offering has increased along with a huge improvement in the accuracy of stock on the shelves. I slightly prefer the Instacart app as it it more intuitively friendly for me, but each app is easy to use and does not require any skills beyond beginner.

Both apps are also available on desktop for those not phone friendly or prefer a larger screen when ordering. The functionality of the desktop or the phone app is the same.

The Stores


The selection of stores for Instacart far exceeds Shipt. The stores will vary by your location. Instacart offers: Meijer, Target, CVS, 2 higher end Independent Grocery Stores, Gordon Food, Kroger, Costco, Aldi, Big Lots, Staples, Petco, B.J.'s Wholesale, Fresh Thyme, Better Health.

Shipt offers: Meijer, Target, Petco, CVS, Office Depot, Sur La Table, Fresh Thyme and Meijer Corner Market.

Shipt is owned by Target. Instacart is privately owned with rounds of fund raising.

Substitutions

Each app has evolved to offer the option of choosing a substitution from a similar product when the order is placed. This can save time for the shopper and yourself for if the stores are running low on stock, given the advance authorization the shopper can substitute in real time without having to text you mid shop.

I have found shoppers for each service to be very good at choosing substitutions or initiating contact via text to approve a substitution. Many shoppers will text an image of the proposed substitution to ensure the order is accurate.

The Surcharge

Once upon a time (as in last year) I paid the same price via the app as I did when shopping in store. This is no more. Each service does bump up the prices and it also varies per store. One store charged a 12 percent surcharge on each item which I found was not cost friendly! Be sure to read the fine print for each store on the app. For items you frequently purchase in store you will recognize the surcharge amount.

No Contact Delivery

Just a few short months ago I would meet the shopper on the driveway. Now and for the foreseeable future no contact delivery is preferred. There is an option in the app to specify exactly where the order should be delivered.

The shopper will text when on the way and text after delivery. I have been utilizing this all purpose cart for groceries and while this cart wasn't the intent when purchasing -  it has sure come in handy. I roll the cart out to the door and the shopper can easily unload the groceries.

This rolling and foldable utility cart has a multitude of uses around the home and I have been very pleased with the purchase. The cart is rugged and can be easily pulled across the lawn for gardening, weeding, planting.

Tipping


Each app gives the option to choose the amount of tip before or after the order is placed. This was not always the case when the apps offered tipping after delivery. There are pros and cons to this feature. In times of high demand a tip can be an incentive for your order to be chosen; however the option always exists post order to adjust the tip.


My Preference?

I actually do not have a preference; however, one of the perks of Shipt is the new Meijer Corner Market. This is  a new version of the traditional Meijer store. It is a much smaller Meijer specializing in groceries plus products from local merchants. This store has become a go to favorite.

Now that demand is less I have found the delivery time slots are available on each. Shipt does have an option to delivery early which I have found very handy and convenient. This is an option where the shopper is allowed to select and deliver the order early; so if a 10-11 a.m. delivery is selected then the shopper could deliver anywhere from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. You will be notified when the shopper is starting order and notified along the way as the shopper progresses throughout the order to actual delivery.


More Grocery Delivery App Reviews


Instacart Review by Bev Owens
Shipt Review by The Savvy Age
Grocery Delivery Services Reviewed by The Savvy Age


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, April 13, 2020

Grocery Delivery Services Reviewed

If there was ever a time for grocery delivery services, the time is now! I have been trying a few of the grocery delivery apps and services with varying degrees of success. My experience the last few weeks have confirmed my appreciation of the independent grocery store and in my urban area it is these stores which have come through.



But first the major players for grocery delivery service are reviewed.

Shipt Grocery Delivery


Last Fall I wrote a review of Shipt which - at that time- was offering a two hour window from the time of ordering to the time of delivery. Shipt delivered every time without fail. At that time Shipt was an annual membership with all deliveries over $35 for free.

As life has drastically changed in the last few months, Shipt is like every other delivery service or app in my area as the demand exceeds the supply of shoppers. Shipt offers deliveries to Meijers, Petco and Target in my area; however, each area is different.

Instacart Grocery Delivery


I have used Instacart and this is a slightly different business model than Shipt. Instacart has a much larger selection of big box stores and smaller grocery stores. The delivery charges vary per store and some stores are adding a percentage price increase for the groceries. Make sure to read the "fine print' as the charges can differ per store.

Review This Reviews writer Bev Owens had a successful delivery experience with Instacart and provides an in depth review of the service. Thanks Bev!

How To Navigate The Grocery Delivery Services And Apps

Persistence. Persistence. Persistence.

A few Hints:
1. Load your cart before looking for the elusive delivery slot.
2. Slots can appear at any time of the day or night, but late night, middle of the night may yield better results to obtain a delivery slot.
3. Stalk the app. Once the list is loaded, stalk the app whenever you think of it or your phone is in your hand. It can become a part time job.
4. Be flexible on the delivery. If a slot opens up it may just be that one slot.
5. Grab the slot when it opens up, don't hesitate.
6. Be prepared that the promised time may or may not be the final delivery time with the ordered items.
7. Be flexible and let the shopper substitute at their discretion. Because stock is limited if you choose the option where the shopper texts you and asks you if you'd like a substitution then your phone will be ringing all. the. time.
8. Tip your shopper.
9. Choose curbside delivery if you are comfortable making the essential drive to the store. Most stores have reserved curbside delivery parking spaces for you to drive up, pop the trunk and the car is loaded.
10. Be prepared for 1-9 to not happen and have to start from again!

The Independent Grocery Stores


In my and suburban area it has been the independently owned and family owned grocery stores which have consistently come through with not only delivering, but actually having items in stock (including that oh so elusive toilet paper!)

A few weeks ago when it was clear the shelves of the big box stores and drugstores were being emptied, the independents immediately restricted the number of items a shopper could buy. Thank you!

Stock: Somehow, someway the independents had stock of the paper essentials and have restocked the new normal essentials (paper towel, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are still missing in action.) But if you "order" a multi pack of toilet paper, then you may receive 4 individually wrapped rolls. I appreciate their independent decision to provide for all.

How To Order From Independent Grocery Stores


This has been interesting to navigate. The stores are each working around this new way of grocery shopping and perhaps because they are smaller and independent - the stores can adjust much more quickly and efficiently.

A few of the stores have online ordering on their own website. The orders can be then picked up curbside. One of the nice features of the store I have been using is the ability to change the order once it is placed. Obtaining a time slot does take patience, but once the time slot is open and the list is paid for you can go back and add and delete the order up to the time the groceries are packed.

The pick up time slots are in one hour increments. When you arrive at the store and park in the curbside delivery designated spot you call the number provided.  The trunk is popped and within minutes the groceries are wheeled out to your car.

The employee stops at your window and I hold up the confirmation sheet so they can confirm your identity and the trunk is loaded. Trunk is closed, thumbs up from both parties and off you go.
I provide a tip by placing a note in the trunk with the tip in an envelope.


Another independent store in the neighborhood does not have their own website ordering, but is accomplishing the order and deliveries old school with email and phone calls. An order can be called in by 10 a.m. or emailed for same day pick up or delivery. This is the neighborhood "Cheers" type store and they offer free delivery to all seniors or health compromised or in a high risk category. Each week their order/delivery/pick up system has evolved and I know the neighborhood is grateful for their contributions to keeping us at home.

The Independent Pharmacy

Once upon a time which is now many years ago, the local big box pharmacy has excellent pharmacists and staff. Knowledgeable, dependable, consistent. This has greatly changed in recent years and it has been a hot mess getting prescriptions filled ... correctly. Sigh.

So who has come through in the recent weeks? The independent pharmacy.

The local independent pharmacy is making hand sanitizer for its' customers and provides delivery free of charge. I am so happy the switch was made from the big box pharmacy a few weeks to the independent pharmacy. (They are located next to an independent grocery store and even offered to pick up groceries for my mom on the way over with her prescription delivery- unbelievable!)

I see the big box pharmacy is offering delivery through Instacart, so that is an option for big box customers if a shopper is available.

Every day can be a new adventure lately just trying to obtain groceries, but I am thankful, grateful, and every appreciative as they allow us to #stayathome #michiganstrong

Don't Forget The Local Hardware Store


Our local Ace Hardware store is open and ready for business. Orders can be placed on the phone or on the website and the items are delivered to your car via curbside pickup. Ace had a birthday last year, read all about the history of Ace by Wednesday Elf !





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Grocery Delivery Service Instacart Reviewed

Easy App For Grocery Delivery

I would like to review an App today that assists you in grocery delivery to your door that is easy to use and affordable. In this trying time, many of you reading this are under orders to stay at home except for essential trips that you need to make. Well, getting groceries is essential but when you fall into the age group that is vulnerable it might be that it isn't the safest trip to make. 

grocery delivery
Grocery Delivery Made Easy
First, I would like to be transparent and let you know that my recommendation for this service is not something that I will earn any money on. It isn't paid for by the company nor am I given any kind of credit for it's recommendation. I am doing it as a public service to offer an option to our readers for not having to leave the safety of their homes to get food. I am also hoping that if just one person decides to use it that I have given someone the opportunity for employment. With millions of people unemployed at the moment, a job like this might be just what they need.


Not All Delivery Services Are The Same


To your door delivery service for groceries isn't new, many areas have had one or another available for a while. Some are easier to use than others. Some are more costly than others. Currently with the demand as it is, some are almost impossible to order from. My daughter has used Shipt for over 18 months. She loved it until recently. With more people using the app, she found that every time she tried to order a delivery that all of the shopping slots were filled for days ahead. I tried to sign-up for it to use in the area that my 87 year old father lives in but it wasn't available there yet. 

I tried to use the Walmart App to order groceries to be delivered to my Dad but finally gave up. It was easy to place things in the virtual cart but after that it became very frustrating. You have the option of home delivery or pick-up with their service. The rub comes in when you are ready to place the order. They only got 48 hours out...in other words if they are booked up for the next 48 hours you can't order the things you need for delivery OR pick-up. I think it is wonderful that so many people are using the service so that they can comply with social distancing and staying at home but when you need groceries delivered or are willing to pick them up at the curb, well, this wasn't much help. 

So, I looked for other options. I mentioned my father is 87. He really shouldn't be out risking exposure but the thing is, neither should I. My age falls into that vulnerable area, too. I did find a solution that was good for both of us. The app is called Instacart. You will need to download it to your phone in order for it to work the best. The app is free so no problem there. There is a small fee for using the app but it is less than $4. Another fee is added on that amounts to 5% of your grocery total and you have the option to leave a tip for your shopper. 

Depending on your area, there will be different places that your shopper can shop for your groceries. For my Dad's area there were two well known grocery stores, a bulk type retailer and a pharmacy. I chose one of the grocery stores and began to add items to the virtual cart. Once I had all of the items that Dad needed, I proceeded to the next step. It gave me possible delivery times for that day and several days into the future. I liked that! So, I opted for a time and day for his items to be delivered, filled in the payment options and closed the app. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey!

OK, so delivery day arrives. Dad's order was supposed to be delivered between 10 AM and Noon on that day. At 9:23 AM, I got a message telling me that my shopper was at the store and working on the order. Cool beans! It showed me his avatar which I thought was neat. Anyway, as he worked his way through the aisles, I would get a message through the app that they were out of something and he gave me an option for a substitute. I had the option to approve or decline. I must say, his choices were spot on as a substitute. There were only 3 things that needed to be changed. When he was finished, the app let me know that he was done and that the groceries would be delivered at Dad's door at 11:05 AM. I called Dad to let him know they were on the way. At exactly 11:05, the app let me know that the shopper was there. Bingo! That was so easy! The frozen and refrigerated items were brought in a thermal container to keep them at the proper temperature, too. The shopper was so sweet to my Dad. He let Dad take the thermal container in, remove the items and place it back out the door. He waited patiently because Dad moves kind of slow. 

Was I pleased? You bet! Will I use it again? You bet! I loved that everything went through the app. The shopper could contact me and I could answer through the app. At the end of the transaction, I was given the total that would be charged to Dad's card with a breakdown of what was charged. A virtual receipt. It was so easy and very pleasant to use. 

I highly recommend this particular app for grocery delivery if it is available in your area. It might even be an opportunity for employment for full or part-time work if you are looking for something like that. It is turning out to be a blessing for me and my sweet father.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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