Grocery shopping has turned really easy with the many online grocery stores that have cropped up in the last few years. Along with ease, sometimes, these stores may also end up offering savings that could be more than the usual savings that you notice when you shop from the physical stores. With the trend of online shopping for groceries picking up momentum, it is important that you know the major players and what makes them stand out. We have picked the three most popular online grocery stores – Instacart, Google Express and Amazon Fresh.
The idea: Order groceries online on the Instacart store and a personal shopper will deliver it to you.
Cost: You will be paying $5.99 for a two-hour delivery service. If you would like to become a member and spend a flat fee per year to enjoy free two-hour deliveries on order over $35, then you will need to pay $149 to become a member of Instacart Express.
States and Cities: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington.
Pros: Instacart has partnered with a lot of grocery stores to provide the best. In many instances you end up paying the same amount for the groceries you order on Instacart that you would have paid in the store. Instacart also has the reputation of being quick. While you can schedule deliveries a day in advance or even more, Instacart can also deliver groceries within an hour.
The company relies on personal shoppers and you will notice that they show utmost care in picking the groceries for you. One of the best features of Instacart is the ability to choose a substitution for the items you want to buy. So if your shopper is buying a substitution, you can check the box so that they inform you about it through a call or a message.
Cons: At times, Instacart prices do not match the in-store prices the way Google Express prices do.
The idea: Buy groceries and other every day goods from the online Amazon store and get it delivered the same day or as scheduled.
Cost: After a 30 day trial, users have to pay $299 to become a member of Amazon Fresh. It also includes Amazon’s regular Prime membership.
Availability: It operates in most of the U.S states.
Pros: Amazon offers a wide variety of products and the prices are usually at parity with the local stores. It is great for those who are looking for a quick and easy way to shop for their groceries without having to step into one of the brick and mortar stores.
Cons: The fact that you cannot pick the stuff yourself and you have to rely on robots or employees means that the quality of the products may not always be satisfactory. The $300 membership seems to a considerable amount of money for grocery shopping as well. The fact that you cannot track the delivery to the minute, you may end up waiting for quite some time while your delivery arrives.
The idea: Buy items from physical stores like Costco, Target and Toy ‘R’ Us online and get them delivered the same day. Google Express has widened its horizons and offers more than just groceries.
Cost: Google Express’ membership will set you back by $95 a year which seems to be a reasonable sum of money especially when compared to the exorbitant fee of Amazon Fresh.
Areas: San Francisco, Manhattan, Los Angeles, San Jose, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Kentucky.
Pros: The prices on Google Express usually match the in-store sales. The packaging is good without too much of wrapping. Groceries are always delivered in plain paper bags. It allows you to add points to your loyalty cards by adding them on Google Express.
Cons: One downside of Google Express is that it does not deliver fresh or cold food. This means that your grocery shopping cannot completely rely on Google Express. The delivery times are not very clear so sometimes, you may have to wait for your grocery for a longer time than you may have expected.