The Pros and Cons of Online Grocery Shopping

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With the integration of AmazonFresh into different Amazon devices such as the Echo and Dash Wand, and the introduction of AmazonFresh Pickup, we can clearly see that the e-commerce giant is looking for a variety of ways to make traditional grocery shopping a thing of the past.

Although a vast majority of consumers still prefer grocery shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, recent statistics show a significant increase of households getting their groceries online.  Most of these consumers are of course, the tech-savvy millennials.

Each consumer has a different view and preference when it comes to grocery shopping, so I’m not here to convince you that shopping online is better than shopping in-stores, or vice versa.

In today’s blog post, I will present to you the pros and cons of buying groceries online, and let you decide whether it’s a good option or not (and if AmazonFresh is really worth the $14.99/month fee).


It can be done anytime and anywhere.

As long as you have internet, your grocery shopping can be done anytime and anywhere.  You don’t have to worry about limited store hours or being too busy during the day to have time for running errands, you can just easily fit grocery shopping around your other commitments.

It saves you time.

Obviously, it eliminates the time spent going to and from the store, walking up and down the aisles and standing in checkout lines.

It’s great for last-minute items.

Let’s say you are having a house party and you forgot to buy a certain item (e.g. a missing ingredient, birthday candle, bottle of wine, extra napkins, etc.) but you’re too busy preparing at home that you don’t have time to run to the grocery store anymore.  With AmazonFresh and AmazonFresh Pickup, you can get your items in as little as 15 minutes (granted that the time-slot is available for you).


You have to wait for delivery.

Depending on which company you are ordering from, some online grocery services take up to 1 day to get your orders delivered.  For AmazonFresh, you have to reserve either a 1 hour or 3 hour-slot and hope that it’s available for you.  As for AmazonFresh Pickup, Prime Members can pick-up their orders in 15 minutes (but this service is only available in two locations for now).

You can’t hand-pick your items.

Shopping for groceries online doesn’t give you the capability of reading and comparing labels, pick your preferred cut of meat or choose fresh items individually such as fruits and vegetables.  You can’t just trust some disinterested grocery clerk to pick out your groceries – you might end up with an item that will go bad or expire soon.

It makes you less sociable.

For consumers who enjoy interpersonal communication or generally love shopping with their family or friends, online shopping hinders you from doing that.  I personally consider grocery shopping as a “family activity,” and shopping online together isn’t as fun as going out of the house together.

Some grocery items are not feasible to get online.

Items such a gallon of water would be expensive and less convenient to order online.  And since you have to go on a trip to the grocery store to pick up these items, might as well get everything on your grocery list.


Obviously, you have to make up your own mind about this, but until there is some compelling reason for me to change, I will continue to do my grocery shopping in person, even though there are many things that I do buy online.