For one year, I’ve been taking advantage of Walmart’s online grocery pickup. Obviously I approve since it’s been a year and that’s a lot of groceries, but here’s my review of the good and bad parts of the service (and for those of you who also pick up groceries, please share your opinions in the comments):
• Ordering groceries is now part of my routine. Every Saturday before bed, I make a meal plan for the next week and order my groceries. Monday morning after work, I swing by Walmart and pick them up. It’s easy, and now it’s part of my life. I love that I can select my pick-up time.
• I can order all my groceries fast. I timed myself once, and it took seven minutes. Compared to the hour I used to spend in the store rounding up the usual suspects, this is the biggest perk for me.
• It’s obvious, but I’ve practically eliminated impulse purchases. My kids would definitely consider this a drawback, though. Unlike when I used to venture inside the store with them in tow, I’m not buying fun things like rainbow popcorn and ice cream nearly as often. I’m also not wanting to spank them in public or pull my hair out, so there’s that.
• After I’ve added what I think I need to my cart, a list of “my favorites” pops up and reminds me of all the staples I need to reorder too—good thing, or I’d always forget stuff like granola bars and bar soap.
• The quality of the produce they’ve picked has been surprisingly good. I buy avocados, apples, and bananas weekly, and they are rarely if ever bruised or overripe.
• Ordering meat is an exercise in frustration. I don’t love Walmart’s frozen chicken breasts because they are so thick. I can’t order a decent fresh pork roast because it appears they don’t exist (but I know they do). The meat situation is no bueno.
• Often something will be “out of stock” when I order on Saturday, but I’m pretty sure by the time the employees gather my groceries on Monday, those items will be back on the shelves. Fresh berries are a common culprit here. How long is Walmart really going to be without fresh strawberries in the spring?! There’s got to be a better way to check for those out-of-stock items when the order is actually being filled.
• Orders have to be placed at least one day in advance—bad news for procrastinators! And the orders have to total $30 or more to qualify for free pickup (but really, when do I ever run to the grocery store and not spend at least 30 bucks?).
• Sometimes there are just flat-out mistakes. Occasionally an item is forgotten or the wrong thing is picked. And I get it—human error. I don’t get too annoyed by this because, hello, ordering groceries so I don’t have to walk in the store is amazing, but I wanted you to know this has happened and might happen to you too. Actually, the longer I’ve been ordering groceries, the less often this has been an issue. I started using the service when it was new in my area, so I bet the online-order employees have gotten better as they’ve gotten more experience.
Which leads to my last comment: The Walmart employees are nice and friendly. They show up with smiles, even when it’s raining outside, and one gal brings suckers for my kids and dog treats for my ridiculous puppy (that I ridiculously take along for the ride—why?!).
My husband brilliantly said, “Man, Walmart is pretty genius if they can figure out a way to get people to shop there who don’t even want to shop there.” Which is me, to a tee. I NEVER shopped at Walmart before because, hello, crowds of people, and I hate that. But now I’m a devotee and plan to continue to be.
So dish the dirt: Are you a grocery-ordering person, and if so, what are your favorite benefits and/or biggest complaints? •