Is This the Future of Grocery Shopping? - Levisan.me
The name’s Levi Breederland. I design and build things for the internet. This is my blog.
Published: 20 August 2017
Last Updated: 02 April 2022
No, it’s not.
The future of grocery shopping will be a return to the likes of the general stores of 1-2 centuries ago, the likes of which can still be seen in classic TV series like Little House on the Prairie.
Currently, all but one of the major “big box” supermarkets that serve Edmonton, Canada, where I live, have online ordering in some form or another.
Usually, it works like this: first, using the store’s website or mobile app, you add everything to your cart, and select a time slot in which you’d like to pick up your order. Then the store does a pre-auth on your credit card for slightly more than the total cost of your order, and the store staff gather the requested products. You then just show up during your pickup window, pay for the final total plus a small fee, and leave.
The service fees vary between stores, the highest of which I’ve seen was $5, for pickup in the busiest time slot. Considering that a usual grocery shopping trip for our family is 30-60 minutes, this is quite an attractive price!
Doesn’t it make more sense to be able to just show up at the store, get your pre-selected groceries, and leave, knowing that you have everything and saving precious time? Isn’t that better than wandering around a massive supermarket looking for groceries in vain, no matter how few other humans you have to interact with? Plus, when set up well, you still have the “no waiting in line” argument safe and sound.
I look forward to the future where we have stores the size of Costco that are staff-access-only, and all shopping is done by the staff. That is the future of grocery shopping.