Online Shopping Pitfalls

Shopping has become much easier in recent years as you can simply use your desktop or mobile device to shop online. You can browse through various online shops to buy anything from food through to clothing. You can even send amazing gifts to family and friends that live on the other side of the world. However, there are multiple pitfalls when it comes to online shopping and that exactly what we will discuss today.

Pitfall 1 – Unable to test the product before you purchase it

When it comes to online shopping, you won’t be able to see the true colour of an item or actually feel the texture. You also can’t test the product in any way before purchasing it. Although most e-commerce sites offer customer support to help you choose a product or item, it still doesn’t beat in-person assistance when you walk into a retail store.

Pitfall 2 – Returning something can be a nightmare

Returning a product or item that you recently purchased online can be time consuming and a hassle. In most cases, you might even have to pay an additional fee to have an item shipped back. You will also find that online retailers will have completely different policies when compared to walk-in retailers. The most common ones include a restocking fee of between 10% and 30% of the original purchase or a no-return policy.

Pitfall 3 – Restocking, handling, and shipping fees

Then there are restocking fees, handling fees, and shipping fees all online shoppers are required to deal with. Should an online merchant forget the follow the guidelines of the Direct Marketing Association on handling and shipping fees, it could potentially face legal action or complaints from law enforcement.

Pitfall 4 – Customer Service

Most people seem to lack patience these days. However, in all fairness, when you contact a customer service representative, you tend to be on hold for hours on end. There’s nothing worse than waiting for a simple answer over the phone, and this happens quite frequently when shopping online.

Pitfall 5 – Inaccurate product descriptions

Some items or products might look bigger and nicer when looking at them on the internet, but once they arrive, you’re in for a nasty surprise as the size of the item was very misleading. Therefore it is highly recommended to search for accurate measurements before purchasing the item or product. In addition, you can look for customer comments and feedback on the product to ensure it’s the right size.

Pitfall 6 – Broken Items

One of the biggest pitfalls to online shopping is poor packaging, especially when it comes to electronic devices. There’s nothing worse than getting excited over your recent purchase only to be devastated when it arrives completely broken and in several pieces. Online retailers, such as Amazon, utilise more bubble wrap, packing tape, and inner boxes to ensure all products are delivered in one piece. Those that neglect this crucial step will eventually have to deal with frustrated customers, and the company name will be dragged through the dirt.

Insight into Digital Online Grocery Shoppers Around the Globe

Field Agent recently released a special report focussed on digital shoppers, and after conducting a survey on almost 10,000 US adult shoppers in March 2018 found that 26% of shoppers go online to purchase packaged groceries, while 18% buy fresh groceries. There is an urgency with brands, retailers and agencies to understand online shoppers since soon buying paper towels and peanut butter online could be the rule instead of the exception.

The special report revealed that of the digital shoppers that purchase 100% of all their groceries online, 79% also purchase footwear online, personal electronics were purchased online by 81%, home goods by 83%, entertainment 86% and 90% also bought clothes online.

Digital Shoppers Around the World


When it comes down to online shopping internationally 20% of United Kingdom shoppers buy over half of their household consumables and groceries online, while 11% of Australian shoppers do the same and so does 6% of consumers in the United States, 6% in South Africa, 4% Germany and 2% of Canadians. Further investigation also revealed where international digital shoppers prefer to spend their money. That showed that in the United Kingdom 55% of online purchases took place at Amazon and 51% at Tesco. In Australia it was 57% at Woolworths vs 46% at Coles, and77% of Canadians buy from Amazon and 46% from Walmart. In Germany, 76% buy online from Amazon and 6% from Allyouneedfresh, and in South Africa, 65% order online from Takealot while 42% purchase from PicknPay. The United States, the 72% of the population prefer Amazon and 63% Walmart.

The Online Shopper’s Voyage


When it comes to online shopping or rather pre-shopping, 55% of digital shoppers surveyed created a shopping list before going to their favourite online shop, while 12% prefilled shopping carts with their planned purchases. Further investigation into digital shoppers who made shopping lists showed that handwritten shopping lists were used by 69%. When it comes to shoppers who did not use any lists, 67% shopped by remembering what items they needed, while 46% of digital shoppers use their previous purchases to order.

Online Shopping Habits

It is most important for retailers to understand online shoppers in order to make the experience even more convenient and when shoppers habits are surveyed it could offer quite the insight. Of the 10,000 shoppers, 69% shopped and purchased everything they needed in one session, while around 10% did shopping in at least three or more sessions. Auto-refills was used by 7% of digital shoppers, and top category purchases included 65% fresh and 65% chilled dairy products, 33% canned foods, 34% meat and 38% salty snacks. Of the digital shoppers, 39% would not buy fresh products online since they prefer in-person inspection of the items. When it comes to sticking to planned purchased 57% bought mostly the items on their shopping list while 29% only purchased that what was needed according to their pre-shopping list.

Which is Cheapest – Online Shopping or Bargain Supermarkets

It is one of the questions that most shoppers ask, while online shopping is the most convenient, easiest and the least time consuming, are they may be more expensive than bargain shops where pushing a trolley is still the only way to save?

To get this burning question answered the only options were to challenge shoppers and measure up the benefits from both groups, the one believing nothing beats bargain supermarkets and the other voting online shopping the best.

To be fair in the test both groups of savvy shopper got the same list of twenty basic items and had to try to get these at the most affordable prices, while one group had to purchase only online the others had to find the cheapest in-store. This experience was a great way to test many shopping theories on how to get grocery bills lower week after week and some of the tips are bound to benefit your next shopping experience.

Online Shoppers


Online shoppers had three top online supermarkets on their list, which included Morrisons, Asda and Tesco. Each could open different baskets to compare the prices of the items on the list.

This group were mostly working moms that appreciated the online shopping experience due to the time they saved as well as going shopping with kids always ends up in spending much more than planned. Most agreed that at the end of their shopping experience, previously when they still went to physical stores, the items going past on the conveyer belt could have been cut by most since several were not needed. This is where online shopping offers a major benefit at everything in your virtual trolley can be checked before the “buy” option is selected and just about everyone in this group agreed that their saving per week due to the check option is equal to at least $50.

Due to how quick online shopping is it leaves a lot of time to check prizes between your two or three favourite shops, and mostly they each have a different list of items on their weekly specials list. Whether prices are cheaper or not, online shopping cuts out the hassle of parking and with Clubcard points earned via online shopping this group would not change even if it is a bit cheaper to go to physical stores.

Shopping In-Store


Even the in-store shoppers used mobile apps to determine where the items on the list were best priced and went shopping with some vouchers found in magazines. The saving of first checking prices amounted to at least $10. At the end the in-store shoppers won the challenge by 79p and their most important tip was, never just accept a price, first check out all stores in your area and buy from the specials.

Most individuals in the in-store shopping group prefer to pick out their own items especially when it comes to fruit, meat and veggies and shops around for everything from insurance to energy. Unfortunately, the list of items on the list is not available but the saving of just 79p is not going to change the minds of online shoppers.

When Online Grocery Shopping Is the Perfect Solution

Shopping for groceries online is not for everyone, some individuals enjoy strolling down the aisles discovering new products. Although for others it’s the perfect answer to their busy lifestyles and therefore it is one of the fastest growing trends.

According to surveys by the Food Marketing Institute, 43% of millennials are doing all their grocery shopping online and when it comes to growth, online shopping increased by 50% from 2016 to 2017. Most people work long hours, have several commitments and rather spend time catching up with their daily tasks instead of making a trip to the supermarket. Most mothers felt they had much more free time to spend with the kids if they simply place their grocery order online. The survey also revealed the most popular reasons why long ques at the grocery store cashiers might be something of the past as most people now get their stuff delivered at home:

Online Grocery Shopping is Quick, Shopping List Basics Remains the Same

Most of the grocery shopping remains the same especially when it comes to the non-perishable items, these can remain on your shopping list which already makes online ordering extremely fast. The unchanged list simply requires the press of “add to trolley” option and the shopping is done. Many feel that everyone is making a shopping list at some stage, by making the list on the grocery website, all items needed are already on the ordering list.

While thousands of shoppers feel they might lose out on specials by not visiting the store in person, sighing up for the newsletters or the save services all the specials are in one place and requires a few seconds to view. Several supermarkets now offer a loyalty program, every order is rewarded via a point system and accumulated points can be traded for cash, items or discount coupons, while some stores also allow the points to be used as payment for delivery services.

Several stores  that offer online grocery shopping now offer shoppers the same normal specials available in the store but also include a special section where discounted items are only available to online shoppers.

Online Shopping Remove the Hassle of Getting to the Store

Forrester, recently revealed the results of their research and the biggest factor in online shopping is the convenience it offers. It is indeed the answer to busy couples who often work long hours and miss store opening hours. Most online shoppers also added that the fact that orders can be placed any time of the day or night is a huge plus, and with the option to select the best delivery time it is indeed a superb service.

Online Grocery Shopping is the Best If You are Already an Online Shopping Junkie

Online shopping started quite a few years ago and millions have already discovered the luxury of ordering everything from garden sets to dresses online. The variety of items are simply astonishing and no matter your desire, an online shop would be able to send or deliver. Knowing your way around online shopping make grocery shopping via an online site much easier and most shops also allow orders to be placed via their mobile site. So, no matter whether you at home, work, having coffee with a friend or waiting outside the kids’ school, you can order your groceries whenever you have a free minute. With the huge increase in online shopper delivery routes keep expanding and having to pick up your online order are almost something of the past. Online shopping is also much kinder to your budget and if you stick to your list your budget could look great by the end of the month.

Excellent UK Services Makes Online Food Shopping A Regular Thing Across the United Kingdom

The ten largest Internet shopping sites in 2018 are Amazon founded in 1996, followed by eBay, Walmart, Etsy, Target, Aliexpress, Costco and Kohls. When it comes to online grocery stores in the UK the supermarket leading the way is Tesco, followed by Asda, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Waitrose, Morrisons, Iceland and Amazon Pantry.

It is no secret that shopping for all groceries online is as regular as clockworks across the United Kingdom and as it saves time, and money once you know the best online services. There are many reasons why online grocery shopping is becoming extremely popular and with the variety of options available it is time to look at which to offer the best services.

Developed for Easy Grocery Shopping

All the big hitters in the online grocery market offer sites that offer comprehensive ranges of household items, drinks, and fresh foods, all well laid out to ensure fast, easy food selection. The major grocery online stores offer excellent apps for Android and iOS.

When it comes to functionality, the easy selection is pretty much amazing across the board. All sites offer great navigation, uncomplicated search options and easy to understand layouts. Users can save time by saving items on future lists while adding items to their current virtual shopping trolley.

Tesco’s Loyalty Rewards

Online shops offer loyalty schemes that are well worth taking notice of since there are great deals available to shoppers regularly ordering from the same site. A real jewel is the Clubcard offered by Tesco’s as the grocery giant offers points that are collectable by shoppers. These can be accumulated, exchanged for cash and used online or in their physical stores or at Tesco petrol stations. The points can also be exchanged for restaurant vouchers that quadruple the value, so a £5 Clubcard voucher would be worth £20 when used at Pizza Express.

Sainsbury’s Nectar Points System

The Nectar points system applies to in-store, petrol pump and online customers and loyalty card holders are entitled to a free coffee or cup of tea when visiting the store.

Amazon Pantry Prime Members

Exclusive to Amazon Prime members each order is packed into a 20kg box, and customers are told after the addition of each item how much space is left. The first 20kg box would cost £2,99 while all additional ones are charged at only £0.99. Currently, the food ordered online are restricted to packets and tins, although users have access to a decent range, and by stocking up on specials, bulk buying due to the prizes are surprisingly affordable.

Benefits of Joining the Online Grocery Shopping Community

The competition in online grocery websites is intense, and therefore you never have to look far to find the best deals and discounts. One of the greatest benefits is the shopping lists that can be added to for delivery weeks in advance. Once your shopping is done, you get to enjoy Netflix while all your shopping is selected and neatly packed and you know it will arrive at the delivery slot you selected.

Going the Extra Mile for Grocery Shopping in Alaska

The online grocery trade has reached nearly most regions in the first world. Although, not every region that offers online grocery shopping is easily accessible, especially in rural Alaska where there are no set roads to transverse through. Though a company, Greatland Grocery & Supply, is slowly changing the game so residents in rural Alaska can enjoy the benefits of shopping for their groceries online.

It all began in July when The Anchorage, and Alaskan based online grocery seller, started to serve all of rural Alaska, which is home to nearly 350,000 people who are all cosily spread across a massive reach of 250 communities. Though while launching, two problems promptly showed up – the stores themselves were on the smaller scale and the lack of roads and traversable land between the villages.

Clinton White, the duel present and founder of Greatland Grocery & Supply was one of the first to notice these issues and take action. In his official statement, his overview of how the companies main focus was to service the Alaskan residents who are ordering groceries online. Typically, the groceries are all barged in, or flown in – depending on the season. Which, as White continued, can become a massive cost on the company’s side. This is where Greatland comes into the picture. The company eliminates the process for the buyers to plan for shipment and delivery by using their website or smartphone app instead. On the plus side, Greatland sells more than just typical grocery items as the company has a massive stock filled with health and beauty related items along with other groceries.

What is Greatland

As mentioned before, the company was founded by Clinton White to solve the main issues regarding delivering online groceries to residents in rural Alaska. The company opened in July and has since created a massive impact for those who are residing in rural Alaska. In total, the company sells nearly 30,000 items on its website, which can also be accessed by a mobile device/app. Plus, Greatland specialises in delivery to the rural Alaskan areas.

Regarding the delivery, the company uses a private carrier which White, the founder, has stated is cheaper than using a mainstream postal service, such as UPS. This has become mutually beneficial for the company saving some money as well as the consumers saving nearly 25% on their food costs and travel costs to get the food.

Though, By-Pass Mail, the name of the delivery aspect of the operation, does come with some prerequisites. The major one being that for delivery to take place, there must be at least 1,000 pounds worth of grocery – which at first may seem to be a hassle, is not that costly on the considered side as they will receive discounts once the weight goal has been reached. Greatland is known for putting money back into the consumer household as the company offers a 5% cashback on each grocery purchase as well as food baskets to save even more money on the consumer side.

U.S. Customers Get to Purchase Groceries Online from Target

In the United States, Target started testing the delivery and online grocery shopping waters. The discounter’s Minneapolis branch teamed up with Instacart since 2012 to offer an exciting online delivery service, allowing Minneapolis shoppers to order perishables, fruits, as well as other products such as baby, pet as well as household items online and then, have their order delivered home in a short time period, in most instances in an hour.

The service that started on Tuesday, according to Target is an experiment that could lead to expansion to several other markets. This move from Target is aimed to boost business via online shopping, and the marketing strategy is under the management of Brian Cornell, the current CEO on board since August 2014. Cornell focusses on reshaping the business and is heating up the grocery delivery market via quick and easy online shopping.

There is however even more good news for individuals who prefer ordering their weekly or monthly groceries from the comfort of their home. In Ottawa, Walmart.ca started offering online grocery orders to be picked up. In 2007 Amazon.com, the king of online retailing started testing Amazon fresh grocery online ordering and delivery in Seattle, and this experiment led to more expansion and online services expanded to San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and parts of New York.

Even, the largest food retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. started testing the online grocery ordering pickup and delivery system in five markets. Although at current, a national offering for both the retailers is still indefinable. On the other hand, Instacart, based in San Francisco, which is working with several other retailers such as Costco, Whole Foods Market and Petco shared that Minneapolis is their eighteenth market.

Ordering Groceries from the Comfort of Home: How it Works:

You need to go online and visit http://www.instacart.com or the mobile app for Instacart via Android or iPhone, select the store and city, start adding items to the online shopping cart and once all items are selected chose a delivery. Shoppers can select from several delivery windows including a one or two-hour delivery or even delivery scheduled for a specified time in future. What is great is that the first delivery is free of charge, while future deliveries cost for the two-hour around $5.99 and the one hour about $35 while the order fee is $3.99.

The growth opportunity for this conveniently way of ordering groceries from home is endless. As more people become accustomed to the getting their groceries delivered to their home, market expectations are that the percentage of customers choosing to shop for their groceries online will increase. Currently, the market is untapped but could easily amount to 40% of many grocers business in the next ten years.

Why is Online Grocery Shopping Becoming so Popular

Online retail is growing in the modern day. Though at first, it was only clothing, then items from Amazon, and now its grocery shopping. Many new companies are opening with the primes to deliver the freshest ingredients to your home in the form of a monthly subscription or casual groceries when you need them. Though at first, the industry grew in a giant mass to the point where dozens of new companies were formed. Since then, many have failed, and the ones that are promoted now are the giants in the grocery e-commerce market.

At first, this trend started in the Western countries, but due to the creation of Amazon, it seems more likely to be a major success. Since then it has grown and became a concept overseas. The United Kingdom is known for the active online grocery shopping market which has seen an impressive 4.5% increase in grocery sales in the last eight years. Other countries are seeing a slower scale as it is still being introduced.

How to Deliver the Product

Places such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and France all have major hubs that are catered for grocery delivery. Out of all four, the market in the UK is the most developed due to the higher demand and popularity of online grocery shopping – the largest brands that are offering the service are Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and a few others that are totalling nearly 4.7 billion annually. Though in contrasts, in Germany, the online grocery shopping has barely made a change in the market due to the discount stress such ad Lidl and Aldi’s.

There are two major ways that the food is being delivered: by either home delivery or pick-up at the closest store. Depending on the area, both options are available, although, the stores that have both options are many seen in locations where one grocery shopping is highly requested, such as the big cities. The process of delivery is interesting as it all starts in a factory if going the home delivery route. The groceries are kept in an approved factory, though one an order is placed, the groceries are gathered and loaded on the transportation, which can vary depending on the store and the location. Then the products are organised, separated, and set on a delivery path for the same day or the following day.

In other cases, the store pick-up option can be done in one of two ways. Either the customer can come to the store drive-through pick up window which takes out the leaving the car and saves some time. Or they can choose to enter the store, have their groceries loaded into a shopping cart, and then into their own vehicles. One of the major perks that have attracted many people is that having your groceries delivered to your home or pre-prepared for pickup creates a way to save time and energy, which is extremely helpful for the busy people out there.

Canada Embracing Online Grocery Shopping

Canadians do not seem to be embracing online grocery shopping. This became more evident after it was announced by the largest grocer in Canada, Loblaw’s that it intended to close a number of stores and begin offering home delivery in an attempt to increase this segment of the grocery retailers business. In addition to the Loblaw announcement, Walmart also is planning g on expanding its home delivery as well.

While it seems Canada retailers are behind in this trend, many in the United States have been offering home delivery for years, and that makes is a natural evolution as Canadian retailers jump on board. While it is a market that is increasing, its sales, in comparison to traditional grocery shopping is small and only represents $2 billion of an estimated $100 billion industry. This number is expected to climb to $4 million over the next few years.

Online grocery shopping in Canada is small when compared to grocery shopping in other countries. In the United States, that market share is expected to see 20% growth in the next 5-7 years, whereas in the United Kingdom expecting growth to only be 7%. The reality is the demand for online groceries in Canada is smaller, and much of that reason is Canadians tend to shop differently.

Canadians shop in a different way

Canadians tend not to shop online as much as those in the United States. Online sales only represent between 3% and 6.5% annually in Canada. When compared to the U.S, that number of 8.5%, and when one factors in the population difference, it is a substantial difference.

The reality is, most people prefer to go directly to their grocery stores to shop. Studies have shown that 70% prefer this over online shopping, and in Canada, that number increases to over 80%. There are multiple reasons behind this, with one being that most prefer to see the items they are buying, especially when it relates to meats and fresh produce. Scheduling delivery times is another issue that has proven to be a challenge for Canadians, especially in an increasingly busy world.

What is clear is that there are differences between the two markets. Historically, Canada has always been slower to embrace new trends, and shopping for groceries online is one of them. The market in Canada is dominated by three major players, and even Costco and Walmart have been unable to topple them, and it is not expected big box stores will anytime soon, if ever.

Big-box stores pose a threat

While big box stores have proven to be a threat to traditional shopping landscapes, in grocery shopping online, they have yet to succeed, but if companies like Amazon have a say in that, it is about to change. Amazon recently purchased Whole Foods, and there is little doubt where their intentions are in building that brand online. This may see other retailers become more aggressive in the online sector out of fear that Amazon will gain market share in a segment that is traditionally not online. This will increase the pressure on smaller retailers to ensure they remain relevant in an ever-changing climate.

Why You Should Grocery Shopping Online

Many times, people think that when grocery shopping online it is more expensive, but it is not only more convenient but can also save you money. Shopping in grocery stores can take time, and you also have to cruise around and find what you are looking for. One of the main reasons shopping online can actually save you money is that there are no impulse purchases, which are usually for things you don’t really need. The number of people that do their grocery shopping online increases every year and with good reason. Here are some of those reasons.

It Really Saves Time

When you shop online, you simply pick what you want, and the delivery service will bring the groceries right to your door. There is no need to walk up and down the aisles of the supermarket and pick the different things you need. Also, when grocery shopping online you will see all that is available, so you basically have a store that is always fully stocked. You do not need to wait in line when shopping online and on top of that with no travelling to and from the store it can save in gas and transportation money.

Buy What You Need


I mentioned before that when you shop online, there are no impulse purchases just seeing things you may like in the store. Because of this, you can save money without unnecessary spending on items. The stores have sales and attractive signs in order to have people make impulse purchases. In the book Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half authored by Steve and Annette Economides they state that impulse purchases can add 60% to your grocery bill.

The Coupon Factor

Just like shopping at a land-based grocery store an online store will have coupons and plenty of them. There are some online shops where you can directly get manufacturer’s coupons and many times the shops will have them as well. You can choose the items that go with the items in your online shopping cart, and you can save some serious money. You can also contact the manufacturer of products to see if they have any online coupons that you can use.

Easy Specials

When you shop for groceries online, you have very easy access to specials. You do not need to look in the papers or drive all over town in order to get the best deal, as you can find them right on your computer screen. Sure, you will get in-store specials like many supermarkets have, but many other specials will be available to you.

As you can see, there are a few great advantages when grocery shopping online. There are some disadvantages such as delivery issues, pricing, items can be out of stock, and you may not get the freshest items in the virtual store. Still, with the convenience issue, readily available coupons, and you get exactly what you want online grocery shopping has some major advantages. That is why it is becoming more and more popular every year, and more and more online retailers are popping up because of it.