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A few weeks ago I took the plunge and decided to order my grocery shopping online. Having not been too well recently, I didn't feel like doing a big shop in an actual supermarket, and not driving means having to use public transport or a cab to get there and back. So online shopping it was to be!
Now there are quite a few supermarkets to choose from who will delivery your goods to your home, but as I mostly shop in Tesco anyway, and have one of their clubcards I plumped for them, knowing I would get lots of loyalty points! I had also picked up a £5.00 off your first order voucher from the local Tesco garage, and so knew I would be getting my delivery free too. Always one for a bargain, me!
Access to the site was straightforward and the actual shopping part was relatively easy, though I was halfway through my order before I realised I could view the images of the items as well as the description! I have to say, it really does help being able to actually see what you're buying!
I have broadband at home, so the pages downloaded pretty much instantly, and the products were all in their shopping categories, as though you were really in the actual supermarket. So for example, the milk and the cheese and the dairy lea cheese triangles and all in the same area, and the dog food, cat food and wild bird food are also together, as though in the same isle in the supermarket. I suppose really, Tesco have set it up so it's a virtual supermarket.
One of the plus points of shopping online comes from this very virtual essence, in that when you're in an actual store, they pipe bread smells at you, and play really slow music so that you linger, and buy more stuff. And they position really unusual bargainous items on the corners of isles and hanging off shelves, so that you end up buying a load of stuff that you didn't really go for, and don't really need! The online experience, for me, missed that all out, so although I got everything I needed, I didn't have so much of an urge to go wandering around to see what else I could buy. For me it was a kind of in-out (shake it all about) experience.
Another plus point for me was that I found I could update my order even after I'd placed it - so later that day when I remembered I'd forgotten something (!) I could just go in and add it to my order, which was pretty cool!
On the day of the delivery, my order arrived about ½ hour outside of the delivery slot, but the delivery men apologised profusely and were very polite and patient while I carried all my bags into the kitchen. They even offered to carry everything in for me, which was very nice.
My order was printed on A4 sheets, stapled together, and the idea was that I should check I had everything before the driver left. However with the sheer size of my order, this was not possible. I was assured that if anything was missing, just to call the helpline and they would assist me. The only thing that was missing was my £5.00 credit, but as soon as I contacted the helpline (a local rate call), they credited it straight back to my card, and were very apologetic about it. A few days later I received an email, again apologising, which was very good, I felt.
A negative point for me was the way they substitute items if something is not in stock. So for example, my Whole-wheat Fusilli Pasta Twists turned into Whole-wheat Spaghetti. Hmmm. Not great. Again, you're meant to hand anything you're not happy with back to the driver for a full refund, but when you have a big delivery, it's really going to take ages to go through everything.
The only other bug-bear I had was the sheer amount of carrier bags they used. For a company that has just introduced a Green Clubcard Point System to encourage people to re-use bags they already have, instead of getting more (you get a clubcard point, worth 1p for every time you use one of your own bags, instead of getting a new one), I was quite shocked at how many bags were used. For example, my spaghetti was in a bag of its own, as was my milk. Some bags only had 2 or 3 items in them, and although I didn't count them when everything was put away, I'd say there had to be at least 25 bags there. Good job I re-use mine till they fall apart!
All in all it was great to sit at home with a nice cup of coffee and order my shopping. I don't know if I'll do it that often, as I like to buy a lot of my groceries locally, and it pains me if I'm honest, to give my money to big corporate supermarkets (think that should be saved for another review!), but sometimes needs must!
My general opinion of Tesco.com was that it's a good site, well thought out, easy to navigate and to update. Delivery was relatively good, although late, the staff were friendly, helpful and polite. After sales service was spot on, couldn't be better, and the quality of the produce was also good, though there really is nothing like picking your own fruit and veg! Prices were good, and there were some excellent buy-one get-on free etc offers. In conclusion, I could recommend Tesco.com to anyone who needs to do their shopping online.