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Ground Rules for Shopping Groceries Online

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In my previous post “Ground Rules for Grocery Shopping” I promised to share my ground rules for grocery shopping online. This writeup is a follow-up post to that promise and today I want to share five ground rules you should stick to when shopping for groceries online. Unlike shopping for groceries in-person shopping for groceries online involves three major areas. Security, Reliability, and Accuracy. The ground rules I have mentioned in this post concern those three areas. Keep on reading to learn more.

Choose Card on Delivery for Payments

Using a debit or credit card to make payments when shopping for groceries online is common practice because it’s convenient. However, the PayHere hack shows using your debit or credit card to pay local merchants online is a bad idea. Hence, the safest payment method would be to pay in cash or use the card at the point of delivery. Now supermarkets like Keells Super doesn’t allow cash or card on delivery as a payment method but the good news is Cargills Food City Online does. At checkout just select “Card on Delivery” as the payment method.

Never save your payment card Details

In the event, you choose to ignore my first ground rule and decide to pay online anyway, don’t save your payment card details. (Keells Super website lets you save your payment card details for convenience) Unless the developers have met the required standards, for storing card data your card details are at risk of being in the event of a data breach. Remember, in Sri Lanka, the law doesn’t require merchants to warn you in the event of a data breach. Hence never save your payment card details, no matter how convenient it may sound.

Stick to well-known supermarket Chains

Ordering groceries online can be unreliable and even annoying sometimes depending on the merchant. I once placed an order with a newly established online grocery store and the merchant waited for two weeks to cancel the order citing the unavailability of stocks. He took even longer to process the refund. Then there’s the annoyance factor. Online Kade for example sends you unsolicited texts about their promotional offers. All the more reason to stick with the well-known supermarket chains.

Check the expiry date of your Groceries

This is a no-brainer, but we often get it wrong even when we shop in person. Odds are much higher, that we will settle for expired products when ordering online because some supermarkets knowing the buyers seldom check the expiry dates, and intentionally deliver items nearing expiry to get rid of them. It has happened to me which you can read here. Besides local supermarkets are not keen to replace the expired products unless you return them yourself. Hence, always check the expiry date of your groceries at the point of delivery.

Always re-check the delivery Address

I’ve made the mistake of ordering groceries to be delivered to my house when I’m at work, and vice versa. Since I live alone, I must be present at home at the time of delivery. Although the delivery crews were kind to deliver them to the correct address after notifying them, I had to wait for much longer than originally expected. Not a viable option if you are pressed for time. Sometimes I had to visit the outlet in person and pick up the order myself. It defeats the entire purpose of ordering online. Therefore, re-check the delivery address, always.

Wrap Up

At this time of writing, there are at least five well-known supermarket chains you can visit online. Namely Keells Super, Cargills Food City, Spar Sri Lanka, Laugfs Super, Softlogic Glomark, and Good Market. Apart from slight differences in delivery fees and availability of outlets I don’t see much difference when ordering from these. Except with Cargills Food City which allows paying with your card at the point of delivery. Whichever supermarket you order your groceries from stick with the ground rules I mentioned before for a better experience.


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