Review: Coles Online. Is it time you bought groceries online ?

This afternoon my first online order of groceries arrived. While I’m completely comfortable buying technology products online to get great prices, for some reason, I’d always shied away from...

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This afternoon my first online order of groceries arrived. While I’m completely comfortable buying technology products online to get great prices, for some reason, I’d always shied away from buying groceries that way. I guess I had always assumed the cost of delivery would be prohibitively expensive, turns out, I was wrong.

I started the experiment by consulting twitter as to which provider I should use. Coles or Woolworths. With a quick response from @ColesOnline offering to pay for the first deliver costs, Coles it was. A lesson for other businesses, pay attention to people trying to give you money.

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Conveniently located in the top-right of their website, Coles clearly want to push consumers to use this service. The sign-up process is fairly painless, taking around 30 seconds to input your contact and location details. Once you have a Coles online account your online shopping experience can commence.

Shopping Online

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I thought I may have to make compromises and buy from a limited range compared to the in-store experience, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. While I didn’t try every product I ever buy, I found exactly what I wanted for this weeks shopping list. There’s a few different ways to shop at Coles Online, browse through categories, search specific items or paste in an existing list on the Express Shop tab. A killer workflow would be to choose your meals using Epicurious, then email it (creating a text list of ingredients). Copy that list of ingredients into the Express Shop and your order is almost instantly submitted.

There’s an option to allow Coles to choose substitutes for you if stock supplies are depleted. Not using this option just means you won’t get the goods and won’t be charged for them. Shopping online doesn’t mean you miss out on isle specials either, there’s plenty of discounts available, better yet, they’re even easier to find, just head to the Specials tab.

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Delivery times / Cost
Shopping selections can be to your door the next day, just choose a time that’s convenient to you (Sundays are unavailable). You do have to choose between a 2 and 3 hour window for delivery though. A 3-hour delivery windows costs $5, while the 2-hour window will empty your credit card of $9.

Order submissions must be by 12 noon for deliver to occur before 3pm the next day. If you can wait till after 3pm, you can make selections right up until 11pm the night before.

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The delivery window I scheduled was 5:30pm – 8:30 this afternoon. The delivery lady arrived just before 6pm and was very pleasant to deal with. Something I can’t always say about the checkout chicks/chumps. I was informed that they could not leave products if your not home, so make sure you are. But better yet, I was informed, they just give you a call and come back later.

Alcohol, home delivered
I mentioned earlier that you could pretty much get anything available in-store, well that extends to Coles liquor. You’ll get asked for ID when the delivery is dropped off, but other than that, it’s as cool as it sounds. What’d be extra great is if they worked out a way for you to get delivery instantly if your mid-session and run out.

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Free Samples
Who doesn’t like free stuff ? A nice surprise with the order was some free samples (pictured above), naturally its in Coles best interest to do this. Getting a new consumer hooked on a product will increase future returns, more than paying for the cost of samples. Still there’s no commitment, so if you just enjoy the free sample, it really is free.

Someone else’s food
While I have had a fantastic experience shopping online with Coles for the first time, I fear someone else’s experience will be tarnished. I ended up with 2 packages of deli meat, clearly labelled for someone else in Wangaratta.

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Overall
After recently having my car damaged in a shopping centre car park, my investigation of shopping online was expedited. Regardless of the reason why, there’s no doubting my first time shopping online has been incredibly positive. So much so that this is now the way I shop for groceries. Avoiding the fuel and waiting times when travelling to supermarkets in-person, the $5 delivery seems like a massive bargain.

If your already shopping online, leave a comment about your experience. If you haven’t, why not ?

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.