Consumers have been minimizing time and cost by shopping online for awhile now. Amazon and others have been offering an online shopping option for years. However, more people are looking into ordering perishable items such as groceries or flowers and they're requesting same-day delivery. In this post I will explore four services that I've tried: Google Express Checkout, Amazon prime, Instacart and Fresh Direct to see how each works and what their pros and cons are for consumers looking to shop through them.
Amazon prime customers are able to enjoy live streaming video and streaming movies from Amazon prime's website. Amazon prime customers are also able to enjoy other discounts on the site including discounted express delivery costs. Recently, Amazon Prime began offering discounts on same-day delivery much to their customers' satisfaction. The good thing about Amazon, is that it doesn't just offer same-day delivery on perishable items, it also offer same-day delivery on any item that has the prime logo near it. Most of these items are shipped and sold from Amazon and not third-party companies, although there are a few exceptions. People can enjoy same-day delivery on items such as furniture, food and gifts for as little as $3.99. Amazon same-day delivery is called Local Express Delivery.
Fresh Direct is a well-known online grocer that delivers everything from eggs to toilet paper directly to your home or place of business. At the moment, they primarily deliver to NYC and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Since they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, customers feel safe purchasing products from the site even if they can't view them in the store before hand. A lot of their popularity comes from the fact that their prices are similar to those that you would find in a grocery store and sometimes less. Items are all shipped in a refrigerated truck seven days a week between the hours of 6:30 AM and 11 PM, making it very convenient for those who need their groceries anytime of the day. The great thing about fresh direct is that they also have an app that allows consumers to shop directly from their iPhone, iPad or android powered device. This was a go-to service for me when I lived in NYC.
Instacart is well known across areas of San Francisco, Palo alto and other surrounding neighborhoods. Unfortunately they don't deliver outside of California just yet. Instacart allows consumers to purchase items from stores such as Safeway, Costco, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's from the convenience of their home computer, tablet or smart phone. They carry over 30,000 grocery items from the stores and they're all available for same-day delivery within as little as one hour. The way it works is that the consumer purchases items from their online catalog, the order gets routed to a personal shopper for collection and then it's delivered directly from the grocery store to your home. Depending on where your home or office is located, these items could be to you in as little as 60 minutes. The prices for their deliveries vary, but most customers choose to have their groceries delivered in under two hours (the majority of these orders there around $35) making the the delivery just around $3.99. They deliver on holidays and weekends in their normal delivery hours are between 10 AM and 9 PM seven days a week.
Instacart has been my favorite service in SF.
Google Shopping Express
Google Shopping Express, not to be confused with Google Express a.k.a. Google Wallet, is a delivery service that allows consumers to purchase from big retailers such as Walgreens, Office Depot, Staples and Target for quick same-day delivery. At the moment, Google Shopping Express only delivers in the San Francisco Bay area, but they are looking to expand into other cities and states. The Google model is identical to Instacart's, however the big downside her are the delivery times. While Instacart has one hour delivery windows, Google uses 3 hour delivery windows which is pretty burdensome for those of us who can't block off 3 hours of our day to stay in one location. I am sure Google will improve on their delivery items since the service is not yet publicly launched.
There a plethora of other services that can also provide a similar service - TaskRabbit, Exec, etc. I love products and services that make me more efficient.
What are everyone else's thoughts?