Online grocery shopping compared

From the moment Kabouter started in daycare a few years ago, I was bound by a strict deadline to come home on time for the first time in my life.  Combining a full time job with commuting to the office and dropping off and picking up a child in childcare, causes some time challenges.  For that reason I could not do any grocery shopping after work before picking up Kabouter and I don't feel like leaving to the store anymore in the evening with one or 2 children.  
That's the reason why I started experimenting with online grocery shopping with pick-up services.

  1. The first one I tested was Wink.

    Wink had just opened nearby my work. I tried out their promotion to new customers.  

    Wink is a 100% online store that has 2 drive-in locations (Zaventem + Waver) and some pick-up points in that region. There is no physical store where you can go and shop inside.

    The goods are shown with a good inventory indication and the best before dates, ...  Since they only exist online, you obviously don't pay an extra fee for the preparation of the goods. You must pay online and then show up at their drive in where they come and load your goods into your car within a few minutes outside. Since there is a good trace of their inventory at the moment you order, there are no surprises of products that are out of stock.

    The personnel was incredibly friendly, the location was new, shiny and modern, the loading spots had wifi hotspots etc etc....So Wink goes all the way to give you all the service you want.

    But I missed my regular brands and products that I was used to. Their product range wasn't that big yet (I have no idea if it evolved) so I still had to shop elsewhere in the weekend for more things. For me this was a key reason to check out different options.

    Since I shopped a few times at Wink, I now receive biweekly e-mails with offers. Every week they try to get me back as customer with some discount or free product on something.

  2. (Carrefour).

    Even closer to my work than Wink, is a hyper Carrefour. I litterally have to drive by twice a day, so when they opened a shopping point on the parking lot, I had to test them.

    The product range is perfect: we regularly shop in the Carrefour so they have all "my" products. You are not limited to foods and the most frequently sold non-foods,  but there is a lot of categories to choose from in  However, there are still less things than in the physical store. The online store doesn't show any inventory indication or best before date so it is possible that you order something that is not available. And you can't control which best before date you will receive.

    If your order is less than 150 euro, you pay a preparation fee of 4 euro's. But if the handler is in a good mood, he apparently has the authorisation to wave this extra fee, which has happened to me a couple of times. So be friendly to the employees, they might be friendly to your bill too.

    The pick-up process is slightly less smooth than The orders are not paid online so you still need to pay outside. When you come to pick up your goods, they always need to check if it includes everything. If anything was out of stock, they give you a proposition of a replacement product that you can accept or refuse and then they adjust the bill accordingly. Carrefour is also champion in handing out 10000 types of loyalty cards, stickers, etc...that all need to be covered there on the parking lot.   Due to all this, the pick-up takes a bit longer. The pick-up terminals have had a few outages as well.

    So Carrefour could still learn some process improvements from Wink.

  3. Delhaize Collect

    Jan has used Delhaize collect a few times as there is a store not far from our home and therefore it is not a big detour for us either.

    The first time when I went to pick up our goods, I thought I arrived after closing time as the little office's door was completely closed. In Leuven it is located in the parking basement of the shop.  It wasn't clear to me right away that I had to ring a bell and wait for someone to show up and open up....not very welcoming and not a pleasant area to wait at all.

    Then your order is recomposed from several boxes (cooled, non-food, ...) in a cart while you are waiting at their desk after which you pay and you roll the cart yourself to your car. So it doesn't get loaded into your car like the other stores.  Because they recompose your order from all the prepared bags in their little office space in front of your eyes, you get the illusion it all takes much more time than needed, even though it also only takes several minutes as with the other stores. Yet it feels less "ready to go".
Conclusion: they are all valid and good options.   If you live nearby one of the 2 drive-in's from wink and if you like their product range, you'll get the best service from them.  If you favour - like me- a very extensive product choice online, then is your choice.
Delhaize Collect is not my preferred choice but that's mainly due to the unfavorable location to wait and pick-up your goods in the basement parking lot.

What about you? Do you do any of your grocery shoppings online? Does anyone have experience with home deliveries??


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