Friday, November 25, 2011

The only way is online, baby...

Image from here
Recently the perfect storm greeted me, en route to buying groceries at my local shopping centre. It was wet, it was a Thursday, it was five weeks out from Christmas.

And empty car spots were as rare as an even tempered Kyle Sandilands.

I drove round and around that damn car park, at first assuming I’d eventually jag a spot. Until after the fourth loop I began to curse every single shopper who’d managed to secure what I couldn’t and promptly drove back out again, in a filthy mood to boot.

These actions then led me to a momentous decision – it was time to pop my online grocery shopping cherry! I’d give the guys at coles.com.au a gig and see if having my goodies delivered right to my door was actually less stressful than the events that had unfurled that foul Thursday.

Putting in my order was certainly easier than traipsing through the aisles with a wonky trolley and overtired child who demands we stop at every end row display of tempting toys on offer. All that was now required of me was to wait for delivery day and I ensured that I was home at the allocated timeslot.

I’d purposely picked a work from home day to have my goods distributed so that I wasn’t caught out in the way couriers give you that ambiguous “9am – 5pm” endless stretch of time, however I was surprised when I suddenly realised my delivery window fast approaching its limit and still no goods had graced my kitchen bench. Almost on the dot of the three hour mark, I received a call from Customer Service announcing that there had been a delay and I’d not receive my order for another hour. While this was fine as I had no plans to be anywhere else but I could imagine it be a bone of contention for some. The silver lining though was the refund of my delivery fee (which while it is only a small amount, is what stopped me in the past from online shopping) so I was a placated customer.

Unpacking my goods however was a different story.

While I was mostly thrilled with the ease in which I’d now accumulated a fridge and freezer full of food, I did notice I’d received a substitute of one brand of item (even though I was sure I’d ticked no to that, but I could be wrong!), as well as the fact the mandarins I’d requested were not included, yet I’d still paid for them. I’d also not recalled selecting top loader washing powder when I was after the other type, yet that was what I’d been supplied.

However a quick call to the Customer Service gang again saw me refunded my missing mandarin money, but alas I’d have to take the washing powder back to a store for a refund end exchange. Which was fine, except it kind of defeats the purpose of online shopping if you still have to make a special trip to the shops…

All in all though I’d say it wasn’t a bad experience, when you consider it saved me from car park and overcrowded shopping centre rage. And mostly, it had lead me to the overall concluding message below:

Retailers, are you listening? THIS IS WHY CONSUMERS CHOOSE TO SHOP ONLINE! Sure, the prices are tempting, and there is the fact you can do it all from home without the need to extract yourself from your bathrobe and ugg boots. But most annoying of all is the lack of free freaking car spots in your teeny tiny car parks that are adjacent to your mammoth shopping centres. And I can only stand wasting so much time (and petrol) stalking shoppers as they leave the centre, only to be waived away five minutes after they’ve unpacked their trolley and announce “oh sorry, we aren’t done here yet…”

So now I’d love to know your online shopping tips – do you love or loathe the experience? And can you get a damn carpark weeks out from Christmas in your local shopping centre?!

10 comments:

Kelly Exeter said...

I love online shopping (Hello Coles!) almost more than I love my iPad. I am happy to pay a little more for privilege, I am happy to put up with strange substitutions and they have only ever been late once (in nearly 2 years).

About 3 weeks ago I made the mistake of going to the actual shops (sans child even!) and doing the shopping - never ever ever again!

Madam Bipolar said...

Tell Coles you know Mrs Woog! Google Woog and Coles if you don't know what I mean.

MummyK said...

I used to do online shopping but I cherish getting out of the house now so I'd rather do that :)

Mrs Woog said...

I love Coles and Coles LOVES me! They told me in a tweet. I am too disorganised to gorcery shop online. When my baboes were small I did and it was excellent. Every time I get my trolley i say to myself Fuck this - I am doing it online from now on...... but I never do xx

Fox in the City said...

I have no done this but I must admit I kind of enjoy grocery shopping . . . without kids . . . and I would miss purusing each aisle looking for something new to try.
Jenn

Carly said...

I do my food shopping online, using Woolworths; haven't had a bad experience using them, yet..

I just ordered my little sister's Christmas present online; free shipping on one of the items and BOTH were on sale! $45 for two handbags PLUS shipping.

I order most of my clothes now from ModCloth. Love the brand. Just love everything.

However, I do still love walking into stores and walking out with bags in my hands. So I am not sure I will shop for everything online. I am still quite weary of purchasing shoes because I have such a varied shoe size.

Actually I have such a varied clothes size too that it does make it difficult but I tend to ensure I read about the items fit etc.

Happy shopping!

robyn said...

I am so jealous! I wish we had the online option. But in my little town it is not a possibility.... even our parcel pick up in only open from 10am-4pm, and woolies is not open on Sundays. They just can't get staff! But your experience sounds pretty good :)

DanniiBeauty said...

I love online shopping, I alternate between coles and woolworths depending on who has better sales hahaha.

I have been using them for over two years now and love it, so convenient and hassle free ( almost!)

I have only had a handful of late delieveries and they refunded the delivery fee. I also have received some not so edible fruit which they have refunded.

I also online shop for clothes, gifts, beauty products and find that there are so many great specials/discounts.

I still like going into a shopping centre and buying on the spot, but the convenience of online shopping in this busy lifestyle is great!

Tat @ Mum in search said...

I don't buy groceries online (mainly because I am the spontaneous kind of person who doesn't think about what she's cooking for dinner until a few hours before that), but I shop for everything else online. A few of my friends buy their groceries online and won't have it any other way.

Laura said...

The thing i dislike about online shopping is... say I was doing Apricot Chicken from a packet mix for dinner and the supermarket was out of the apricot chicken packet mix... i'd choose something different for dinner. But with online shopping they still deliver your chicken and apricots and just refund the amount of the packet mix.