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The past few weeks have been a bit of a nightmare for me, due to having had two wisdom teeth removed. Little did I realise that a simple procedure would knock me for six, when I had a severe reaction to the anaesthetic. I’ve been unable to work, clean the house or go shopping.
My partner decided he didn’t really want to shoulder the responsibility of undertaking a shopping trip all on his own, poor bunny. So we decided to do our shopping online.
So, who to choose? *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^
There are a number of leading supermarkets which offer online shopping, with Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s being just two. We shop regularly at Tesco’s so this was the place we chose. We are familiar with the brands and prices, so this seemed like the obvious choice. I also have a Tesco Clubcard which slightly swayed my decision to shop online. The Clubcard is a loyalty-based card which earn points the more you spend. Every six months you receive a statement, along with a book of vouchers which can be taken off your shopping or used in various leisure outlets.
How much does online shopping cost? *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^
Tesco online charges £5.99 per delivery. However, this sometimes varies, and if you shop online on a Thursday for example, it is £3.99 to deliver on the Tuesday. This is good if you are not desperate for any specific items; however, it is a little inconvenient, as I usually want my goods yesterday!!
The website *^*^*^*^*^*^*
You will need to register before the shopping experience begins, but this is a painless process and is very quick. It allows you to add your Clubcard details. Once you have done this, you can view the last shop you made in a ‘real’ store. This was a very handy device, as I usually buy similar items each week.
Each product you buy is then added to your favourites, by the way of a little heart. You can then see each time you log on, that you have already bought this particular item. You can view all your favourites by clicking on the relevant button on the left-hand side of the screen, or you can browse them by your last order or by departments.
The site also stores your Clubcard details, so that you don’t have to add them each time you make an order.
www.tesco.com is a simple site to navigate. When you first log on, you are faced with an array of information which can at first, seem a little daunting and almost confusing. However, this does eventually get better the more familiar you are with the site. It has an assortment of different options which you can click onto, such as Finance, Groceries, Insurance, Electricals, Mobile Phones and Travel. However, if you are there solely to buy your weekly shopping, you click on the groceries section which takes you to the relevant department.
When you are in the Groceries section, you are faced with a much simpler screen to navigate. It details special offers and themes for that type of season. There are currently sections for barbecue and Bank Holiday ideas.
On the left hand side of the screen there is the section which you will probably use the most. It details your favourites (which will be used if you return to the site a second time), departments and express shopper. There are also sections which indicate ‘offers and ideas’ and ‘our brands’.
At the top right of the screen there is a facility which allows you to book your delivery slot before you start shopping. This is an excellent function because it lets you choose a date and time which is suitable for you, before you even start to add items to your basket. Delivery slots are usually within a two-hour window such as between 9am-11am. Once you click on the time which suits you, this slot will automatically be booked and you won’t lose it.
Tesco.com offers early (9am) morning and late night (11pm) slots for deliveries, and you can book a time up to a week in advance.
At the top of the screen there are the usual options such as orders, account, basket, help and checkout. You can click on your basket at any time, to view it’s contents. This is almost like a virtual shopping list.
Navigating the site is very easy. There is a search facility which is very simple to use, and will take you to the specific product you are looking for. You can also use specific departments to locate the item you are after.
Departments include general areas such as ORGANICS, HEALTHY LIVING, FINEST AND FAIR TRADE. You click on each of these and it lists the products available under these headings. You can also click on areas similar to what you find in the real supermarket, such as FRUIT, BAKERY, PET CARE, BREAKFAST CEREALS AND DAIRY.
Ordering your shopping does take a little time, but when weighed up against the time it takes to get in the car, go shopping and bring the bags home again, the time is all relative. Finding what you are looking for is easy, but quite time consuming, but I feel that it is worth the clicks it takes.
Tesco.com offers the same selection of items which are usually found in their stores, from dairy produce, to batteries, cat food and wine.
You do have to be careful to ensure you add items to your basket at each department. If you fail to do this when you click onto another area, you will lose what you have selected. This can be quite frustrating at times, but you soon learn to click 'add to basket' regularly.
Once you have selected your shopping, the checkout section is very easy to use. It also stores you credit or debit card details, which makes it easier for the next time you shop. The site is secure.
There is also a section where you can add an e-voucher code or special offer; however, I have yet to use this option.
What next? *^*^*^*^*^*^
You will immediately receive an automated email confirming the products you have ordered, the price and the delivery time. You can print this out if needed; it gives you an order code and a telephone number to call if you have any difficulties.
What if I forget something or changed my mind? *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*
The first occasion I submitted my order, I realised that I had forgotten to add some rice to my basket. This is easily remedied, you just log back on to the site, view your orders, then add any other items you require. Your overall amount is then increase/decreased.
We have ordered three times from Tesco.com and each time the delivery has come within the time frame specified. I was really impressed with this service, and felt it was very accurate.
All the items I had ordered were listed on an A4 sheet of paper, with price and amount. This is similar to an invoice, and replaces the usual till receipt which is used instore.
Your shopping is delivered in the usual Tesco carrier bags, but added inside large, green boxes, which are given back to the delivery man.
Tesco.com indicate that sometimes food that you have ordered may be out of stock or unavailable. They give you a substitute if the item you ordered is unavailable. All of these substitutions, if any, are highlighted by the driver, who then gives you the option of keeping or rejecting the replacement. If you refuse the substitute, the money is refunded to your account.
I have had three items substituted in three deliveries, which is quite a good record. The first was empire apples, which were not available at the time, one was Flash orange cleaner which was out of stock and finally they did not have the specific brand of slimming bread which I had requested. I decided to keep all the substitutes offered, and was not disappointed.
Quality of produce *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*
I have no complaints about the quality of the products on offer. I ordered ice cream this week, which had not melted at all. The only complaint is that you can’t hand pick the fresh goods which you buy, such as vegetables and fruit. This is not really a disadvantage for me, because I found that all of the items were very fresh and passed the purplelynne inspection!
Quicker than visiting the shop Easier than visiting the shop and avoiding the screaming children (usually my own!) You won’t be tempted to impulse buy (we’ve saved a fortune in this way – no more hiding choccie bars in amongst the loo roll) No more struggling with heavy bags – the nice man brings it straight to your door in large green boxes. Hassle free – and worth every penny!
Delivery charge a bit expensive if used regularly Substitutes may not be to your liking Can’t check the freshness of the fresh produce (this has not been a problem for me) until it is delivered.
My opinion *^*^*^*^*^*^
I was very impressed with this service and would definitely use it again. It has been invaluable for me, at a time when I haven’t been well enough to go shopping. I will use tesco.com again, but not on a weekly basis. It’s great for emergencies and for times when you just can’t be bothered to go shopping, but have run out of food. I feel the delivery price is a bit steep and this is the only reason I will not be using this service on a weekly basis.