First Person: Why We Won’t Buy All Our Groceries Online

Yahoo Contributor Network

Is there anything that cannot be ordered online these days? In an urban setting, there isn't much that can't be ordered from a computer and delivered within a few days. Will all stores eventually disappear and be replaced by delivery vans? That remains to be seen. Now, online shopping is all about ordering groceries. It seems like we tried this a few years ago, but it did not catch on. Today is seems like companies are trying again to make this a more universal practice. I might try a few things, but I don't see this becoming part of my routine.

Saving money

There are certainly financial benefits to ordering some products online. The basics of business are such that organizations can buy in bulk and pass some of that savings onto the consumer. However, I am skeptical that this will translate to the online shopping world. When you are talking about food, you are talking about something that cannot necessarily be bought in bulk and stored in a warehouse for a long period of time. I like convenience, but I won't give away a large amount of savings in order to have my food delivered.

Picking what we want

The thing about grocery shopping is that it can be a very personal experience. For example, some people like to pick up fruits and vegetables and inspect them before putting them in the cart. There is also the fact that some people like to survey various options right in front of them. Certainly some of this can be done with a web browser, but it isn't the same thing. It is hard to put a meat case online.

A social affair

Grocery shopping can be a hassle, but it is also a social ritual in society. Some people actually enjoy going to the grocery store and picking out their meal-planning options for the week. Again, this cannot necessarily be replicated in an online environment. Even with the convenience of online shopping, people are still social creatures. Sometimes you have to get out of the house.

The quick run

Planning ahead is part of shopping, but groceries are one of those categories where there are so many different items. What happens when you are cooking something and you realize you are missing a key item? You send someone to the store. Can that be replaced with a delivery van? Probably not. Maybe this online grocery shopping thing will become part of our routine at some point. It might be worth a bit of experimentation. For now, we'll mostly stick with a short car ride to a place where will grab a cart and roam the aisles.

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