Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Looking at Online Grocery Delivery Services

For class we are putting together a hypothetical website offering a product or service.  My group decided a grocery delivery service would be a good service to offer.  For this study, I have looked at five different grocery delivery companies to compare our idea with what’s already out there.  First I looked at Store to Door, a non-profit grocery delivery service for the elderly and home-bound.  Schwann’s home delivery has been around for a long time.  They started out delivering milk and dairy products, and now they deliver everything.  Although unlike grocery delivery, Schwann’s delivers food, as in entrées and such.  Walmart has delivery service, but not in all areas.  When I checked my address, I was encouraged to sign up so they could let me know when they were in my area.  Coborns Delivers used to be Simon Delivers.  They are a full functioning grocery store.  Lastly, Peapod Delivery, like Coborns Delivers, is a full functioning Grocery store, delivering to either a home or business.

First, Store to Door does their deliveries every two weeks.  You don’t go to their website and put in an order, instead after signing up, they call you and you place your order with them that way.  I work a few people who get their service and they have told me that you have to give them very specific descriptions of what you want or you will get the wrong thing.  Considering the company is run by volunteers, I can see how this might be a problem.  They also work exclusively with Cub Foods and will also pick up prescriptions their clients have ordered from that Cub. They do have a delivery fee, but because of their non-profit status, most of their clients qualify for help with that.

Schwann’s has a full site.  They have a very colorful homepage, showing a slideshow of what they offer.  You can order a full meal or sides or even just dessert.  I do not find any information on a delivery charge, though that may depend on the truck.

Walmart, while they don’t deliver to me right now, has a special where the first groceries you order are free of a delivery charge as long as you spend at least $49.  On the home page they list their deals of the day, and at least for today, they offer a delivery package.  For $49.98 you can purchase a delivery package that gives you unlimited delivery for six months.  Also, while they don’t offer this service in my area, they tout the convenience.  If you can’t make it to a store, you can still shop at and have your groceries delivered.

Coborns bought Simon Delivers, and now the yellow trucks all over the city announce Coborns Delivers.  They have two choices when you want to peruse their inventory, business delivery and home delivery.  They offer next day delivery and if you aren’t home, they have an insulated container that they leave your groceries in so they don’t spoil.  They have a $5 delivery fee with specials for new customers and they accept manufacturers’ coupons.

Peapod services most of the east coast and part of the Midwest.  They are not in Minnesota yet.  They do not let you simply look over their stock without signing up.

There are aspects of each of these that are interesting enough that I would want to include them, such as a low delivery fee, and perhaps a bit more with actual meals, perhaps ordered from a grocery store deli.  Unlike these services, I would like to open up our service to include the option to pick the store you want to shop from, perhaps with the weekly circular featured on each store’s page.  I like this idea and would probably use it if I were actually doing it.

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