Shopping at Home

When Webvan bit the pavement, I cried and cried. I had just moved downtown to someplace where it’s a pain to get groceries. Sure, developers will happily put in apartments and convert lofts, but will they put in a grocery store? NoooOOOOooo. So until recently, I ate a lot of pizza.

Now I can not only get my groceries delivered via a website, I have a choice. Safeway and Albertson’s have both gone online.

I recently took a delivery from Safeway. They had a few substitutions, and I wasn’t all that impressed with the driver. Webvan spoiled me with their friendliness and professionalism. Still, very tolerable. I was happy to have groceries.

Comparing interfaces, I’d have to say I prefer Albertson’s. They have taken the time to put up product thumbnails and complete descriptions. Safeway gives you a generic icon and abbreviations. Searching is equally efficient on either site, though Albertson’s scheme is faster. Both searches are intuitive and easy to use.

But what about products and prices? For most items, Albertson’s has the better selection by far. Some examples:

Donuts–Safeway has 14 (you have to count them), mostly national brands. Alby’s has 24 (they tell you at the top of the list), mostly from their in-store bakery.

Condoms–Safeway has a lousy 4. Alby’s has 15. We know where their priorities are.

Finally the kicker: Orange Juice–Safeway has 2 choices of non-frozen OJ. They didn’t have my brand, but I ordered anyway and got something undrinkable. I’m kicking myself looking at Albertson’s, which has 41 delicious juicy items to choose from. 41. Day-um.

Prices are about the same. Over all Albertson’s may be a few cents more expensive. They both charge $9.95 for delivery.

Obviously, my next delivery will come from Albertson’s. They got in about a month after Safeway, and may have missed some business. They are certainly making up for it with a nice interface and great selection.

4 Responses to Shopping at Home

  1. Paul says:

    We’re disappointed by the lack of options in Chicago; it’s Peapod or nothing.

    I went to pick up some groceries at Cub Foods yesterday (great grocery store, great prices) and then Jeani and I did a comparison of price. Peapod was $10 more for just the groceries, and another $10 on top of that for delivery – and this was a pretty small ($40) shopping trip.

    If the delivery was five bucks and the price difference was under $5 as well, it might be worth it. For us, though, $20 is too high a price to pay.

  2. kelly says:

    I miss our early saturday morning grocery runs.:( They were always productive for me. I hardly ever go to the store anymore, and that leaves John doing all the shopping. I guess i’ll have to motivate myself to go on saturdays without the Kitty.

  3. Cat says:

    Awwww…now I feel all guilty.

    Wanna go shopping this weekend? We haven’t had brunch in ages!

  4. Kelly says:

    Sure.