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How to buy groceries online and have them delivered

Buying groceries online and having them delivered straight to your door is now easier than ever. In this article, we introduce you to the basics of online grocery shopping and help to get you started using a real-life example.

Online grocery shopping has been around for a while, but has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity as a result of COVID-19.

An article in The New Daily highlights how supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles are stepping up their online presence and investing more physical space to “dark stores” – basically, mini-fulfilment centres – in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to cater to this increasing demand.

What are the benefits of online grocery shopping?

Buying groceries online and having them delivered straight to your door has distinct advantages. 

The most obvious of these is convenience – it saves time spent getting to and from the stores, and it saves you having to lug large bags home as dedicated shoppers do all of the collecting, lifting and travelling for you. 

In these COVID times, it has the added advantage of saving you a trip to the supermarket that may pose risks to your health. 

It’s also much easier to compare products online, as you have access to reviews from other customers to find out what they thought. 

Of course, just as names like Coles and Woolies dominate the bricks-and-mortar supermarket scene, so too are they the major players when it comes to online shopping.

How to get started 

We’ll use Woolworths Online as an example here, but the basic steps are much the same no matter where you shop.

Start by heading to the Woolworths website and click on the Login / Signup button.

Note the padlock in the address bar, which indicates that the website you’re viewing is secure. You may also notice “https” in the address bar instead of “http” – the “s” is for secure and means that all of the data you send through the website – including your credit card details – is encrypted. 

(See our article about shopping safely online for more information on the above.)

On the sign-up screen, enter all of your details including your name, date of birth, email address and password. You’ll also see options for how you’d like to receive your groceries – you can choose from Decide LaterDelivery and Pick Up. Obviously, if you’re keen to have your groceries delivered to your door, choose the Delivery option. 

When you’ve entered all your details, accept the Terms and Conditions and then click the green Sign up button.

Next, you’ll need to add your credit card. Click on Account in the top-right corner and then click on My Payment Methods. Here you can add your credit card details, or if you have a PayPal account you can link that too.

Generally speaking, a credit card is a very safe way to pay online. It offers extra protection as there’s a record of all your purchases, you only enter your details on a secure page, and you’re sent confirmation emails for everything you buy. Just remember to look for the padlock symbol or “https” to ensure you’re on a secure and reputable website.

Once you’ve linked your credit card, you can begin shopping.

Just like in a real store, you’ll see a few offers and advertisements on the main page – this is the stuff that Woolies wants you to see, and isn’t all that different from special displays that you’ll find in-store.

If you want to get straight into shopping however, take a look at the various categories in the top menu including Fruit & VegMeatSeafood & DeliBakeryFreezer, and so forth. Again, not too different from the real store.

In our example, we’ve clicked on Fruit & Veg. We’re given further options – FruitVegetablesSalad and Organic. We’re keen to buy some bananas, so we click on Fruit.

When you see the product you want to buy, click Add to Cart. This will add the item to your virtual shopping cart, which you can click on in the top-right corner of the website to view at any time.

Note that most supermarkets have a delivery minimum spend – in Woolworths case, it’s $50 (not including the delivery fee). So, if you just want to pick up a couple of items, you’ll still need to go to the store.

Add as many items as you like until you’re ready to pay, and then click the green Checkout button. Here, you’ll be able to enter your Delivery location. Once the website knows where you live, it adds a delivery fee to your checkout order, which you’ll have to pay on top of the cost of your groceries. 

You can then choose when you want the groceries to be delivered – not just the day, but also a one-hour window in the morning, afternoon or evening, along with a few other options regarding delivery and a field where you can enter some notes for your driver if you have specific requests. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you’re home at the selected time.

On the right-hand side, click the Credit Card option, and here you’ll find your saved credit card details handy. Select your credit card and then click Place Order.

You’ll receive a confirmation email, and then all you need to do is make sure that you’re at home at the time you’ve chosen – your delivery driver will do the rest!