For years I’ve done a weekend supermarket shop for our head office: biscuits, candy, milk, bathroom requirements, breakfast bars, bread etc. I enjoyed it. Even though it took an hour to do the shop, get it to the office and unpack, I found it therapeutic – if that does not sound too sad. Anyway, last month I opened a Coles online account to try out that mode of shopping and see if freeing up an hour and half on the weekend worked for me.
While there is no doubt that it’s more convenient to shop online and have the supplied delivered right to the office, browsing onlineis no substitute for browsing in a supermarket. Maybe it’s me but I miss things. I think I need to find my online shopping groove – but I don;t think the online thing will replace being in the store. Who knows?
The Coles online service is excellent, their deliveries on time and the deals one sees in the shops, such as Coke, are as available online. My frustration is more about what I miss. In the real store it’s almost browser based shopping whereas in online it is destination (by product) shopping.
Retail, for me, is about personal contact with the products and with other shoppers – I’m fascinated to watch people. I think this is what will get me back in the supermarket for the weekly shop.
This online shopping experience is on my mind at the moment because of work we are doing on a couple of fronts. The key for retailers, online and offiline, is to ensure the consumer experience is what they expect for if it’s not, they will go elsewhere.