The Ups and Downs of Online Supermarkets

If you haven’t already done your weekly or monthly grocery shopping online, chances are you’ve been tempted. Or at least, found yourself a little curious about it all. All across the UK, a growing number of shoppers are for a variety of reasons ditching the high street and doing all (or at least most) of their food shopping online.

But does this really amount to a bonus – particularly for those with an interest in real value for money?

Here’s a quick guide to the ups and downs of shopping with online supermarkets:

Pro – Sensible Review

One immediate benefit is the way in which you can clearly see every item in your cart right in front of you, which means being able to review and edit your list as you go. Shopping online means less chance of needless/impulse purchases, you may throw in at the supermarket.

Con – Missing in-store deals

On the downside, you simply might not come across all the same deals and discounts you’d find in-store. Particularly in the case of things like damaged items, goods approaching their expiration date, surplus store stock and so on.

Pro – Fewer Distractions

Shopping online for groceries means zero distractions and therefore the ability to enforce military-precision, in order to complete your shopping list.

Con – New or Forgotten Items

However, there’s the inevitable downside that comes with not having all the store’s products right there in front of you as you walk around. From new items to products you’d forgotten about and those you never knew existed, you are far more likely to discover such products in store.

Pro – Simple Price Comparisons

One great thing about shopping online is how easy it is to immediately compare the prices from one supermarket to the next, taking advantage of any price-match offers you come across. If you prefer, you can split your grocery shop between as many online supermarkets as possible.

Con – Human Error

Though it happens comparatively infrequently, it’s impossible to fully remove the prospect of human error from the equation. Should your grocery delivery lack something you desperately need, you could then find yourself struggling.

Pro – Exclusive Specials

In many instances, those who shop online will be offered any number of deals and discounts that are exclusive to online shoppers.

Con – Exclusive Specials

Likewise, there may also be specific deals and discounts that are only available to those who shop at the actual store.

Pro – No Other Shoppers

One obvious benefit of this type of shopping is not having to battle through hundreds of fellow customers and store workers alike, which can make the shopping experience more than a little stressful.

Con – Advice and Support

Shopping at a physical supermarket, however, means being able to ask employees as many questions as necessary, should you need any clarification on anything of importance whatsoever.

Pro – Total Ease and Simplicity

Shopping from the comfort of home means being able to transform what may require a half-day excursion into just 30 minutes by the computer.

Con – Enjoyable Exercise

But then again, some would argue that these are the kinds of excursions that should be savoured and embraced for the enjoyable exercise they provide.

The Bottom Line…

On the whole, it’s pretty much balanced on both sides of the argument. So it’s really just a case of doing whatever works best for you and your family.

That said, it’s always worth checking out both options from time to time, just to see what kinds of exclusive deals and discounts are available to both shopping audiences.


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