1 December 2014

Online Grocery Shopping

I have heard about online grocery shopping in Singapore since long time ago. But I wasn't keen on that, until sometime last year. I could not imagine buying my daily needs from a website. I mean, I thought it's something you should do while holding the actual thing in your hands, no?

When I was still working full time, our weekly grocery shopping's usually done on Saturday. Mainly it's to stock up our kitchen and fridge for the next whole week's meal supply. And it's our helper who'd go to the market to do the grocery shopping, and I would be the one preparing the shopping list.

Of course there're some occasions when I was too tired on Friday evening or Saturday morning, or simply too lazy to prepare the list. Then I would just ask her to buy 'the usual' items, which would be some veggies, eggs, tofu, chicken/meat, plus other perishable items which need to be restocked, like washing powder, dishing liquid, rice, sugar, and so on. I did not always keep track on what things were finishing, since she was the one who did the cooking & cleaning everyday & knew better what's in the kitchen and what's in the laundry.

So. Problem arose when I forgot to include those -like toiletries/sanitary, diapers, milk, beverages supply, etc- which my helper was not familiar with which brand to choose- and then I need to buy them during the weekend.  Or sometimes we didn't realize until mid of the week that we finished off the cooking oil or kitchen towels or sugar. Then I would drop by the store to buy those after office hours (my helper usually didn't do groceries during weekdays because she needs to take care of my young toddler).

Buying those which are usually bulky or heavy, definitely not so fun to drag along after a long day of work. 

After a few times, I got irritated every time I need to do that detour while I was exhausted from work and simply wanted to be home as soon as I can.

Then I decided to give a try to online grocery shopping. And since then, I really love doing online groceries!

Here's why;
  • It saves time to go to the store 
  • It saves effort of lugging my purchases, especially those bulky and heavy items (and thus less complaining done afterwards! I get annoying when I'm tired or hungry, FYI. Lol)
  • It offers flexibility. I can do my order anytime, from the comfort of my home, choose my delivery time, and just wait for it to be delivered to my doorstep!
It's really helpful, especially after having my second child 3 months ago and we're no longer having a helper at home.

Of course that does not mean I totally do not need to go to market. But at least I can order those bulky things to be delivered instead of going to buy them myself with a baby and a toddler in tow. And because not all kitchen needs are available online (more on it below).

In Singapore, there are quite a number of online grocery shopping available, mostly are from popular supermarket chains here. Personally I've been trying two of them; RedMart (Singapore based start-up online grocery store) and Allforyou (this is from Sheng Siong -Singapore local supermarket).  There are some others from our local supermarket such as FairPrice, Giant, and Cold Storage.

Let me share some of differences between those online grocery shopping, especially RedMart & Allforyou.

Delivery Fee

RedMart: $7 for purchases below $75. Free delivery for purchases of $75 and above.

Allforyou: $7 for purchases below $70. Free delivery for purchases of $70 and above.

The rest you can refer to their website for details. For example, Giant charges $12 for purchases below $60, and $7 delivery fee for purchases of $60 and above.

Shopping items

RedMart: Currently they are only focusing on dry goods, but slowly adding fresh veggies & frozen food to their ranges, but not as comprehensive as Allforyou's range yet. This might be a challenge for them since they don't own their own supermarket, so it's not easy for them to get fresh food; I suppose they would need to estimate how much to order, how to store to maintain optimal freshness, and how to meet the demand without wasting it because they can not hold too long.

Allforyou: My main reason why I moved from Redmart to Allforyou. I can skip my weekly trip to market, by ordering my weekly kitchen supply from them. Since they have their own supermarket chain, they provide practically everything you can find in their Sheng Siong supermarket; fresh and frozen veggies, poultries, meat, seafood, chilled beverages, dry goods and so on. Brand wise, on certain sections, for example baby diapers, Sheng Siong might not as extensive as RedMart in my opinion. But luckily my baby does not really have sensitivity towards different brand of diapers so far.

Did I mention I can skip my weekly trip to market because of this? Yep. I can buy my carrot, spinach, leek, egg, milk, toufu, tempe, fish, halal chicken, toiletries, diapers from the comfort of my home ;)
The only common food supply I could not find is some halal beef.


RedMart: More attractive looking! Well, ok appearance is kinda objective. But yes, their website loads faster between different menu/categories. And I like how they present the individual product image. They take two images, front view and back view of the product packaging. They enable us to zoom in the image when we mouse-over it, like shown below.

(image taken from: https://redmart.com/product/best-foods-real-mayonnaise)

I LOVE this feature. Why? Because I can use it to check if it has halal logo on it, or if I want to see the ingredients used.

Allforyou: Yes one complain I have, their website is kinda slow, especially when I jumped between different product categories. It's not that bad, but it's pretty annoying when I was rushing to do my grocery order just to have it delivered on that same day (more on delivery slot next!). On the product image, Allforyou only has one front-view, and it cannot be zoomed in. Sometimes I tried to search the same product on Redmart (if Redmart's also carrying it) if I want to check the halal-ness or the ingredients.

Delivery Time Slot

Redmart: Last year when I started using Redmart, I could get my order delivered on the next day, or the day after. Which, at that time, I consider it to be 'very fast'. But nowadays, it is even quite rare to be able to get the next 2days slot in Redmart. Usually the fastest slot available is on the 3rd day onwards after your order is placed.

Updated 19/12/2014: I tried to make an order at Redmart just now (around 1PM), and they do have tomorrow time slot (1PM-3PM) to deliver! I think they're improving on their delivery service, well done Redmart!

Allforyou: THIS. The second main reason why I'm (currently) keep using them. I can have a same-day delivery, if I place my order before noon on that day. I ever made my groceries order around 2PM and I still got a delivery slot on the same day 8pm-10pm. And the guy reached our home before 7:30. Still make it to have a chilled milk topped up in our fridge for after-dinner. Niiiceee...

Having said all that, actually a trip to market is good. At least you'll have extra walking exercise squeezed into your schedule.

It's just that for the time being, I think I still prefer to have more lazying time on weekend morning. Weekdays is still a big NO to do grocery. It's totally not fun when you have to drag along a market bag, a 3-years old toddler, and a 4-months old baby altogether.

What do you think, would you do online grocery?
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