Tag Archives: ocado

Experimenting with Waitrose online

Waitrose van | Brand nameWe tried out Waitrose online, on some prompting from friends. The free delivery is great… but the online e-commerce system feels a few years behind Ocado and even Tesco.com. No automated lists, limited personalisation and slow load times make the experience slightly agonising, even in a very fast browser (Chrome, obv). There also seems to be a significantly smaller product range than you’d find on Ocado.

It’s not without its positive features: the shopping basket is very good, as is the offer browser and product information screens. It’s just the actual process of shopping that is a bit too slow and fiddly.

I’m hoping that Waitrose can keep me posted of developments to the site as the Ocado delivery charges are steep and I’m not sure Amanda is sufficiently convinced of the virtues of online grocery shopping to agree to a scheduled commitment (which comps delivery on Ocado).

What do other people think? In store, online, and who with? This is all part of my bid to escape the supermarket lottery of life, which has us stuck with local Tesco stores…

The supermarket lottery of life

OcadoWe’re trying a different online grocery service – Ocado. After years of using Tesco.com and finding that it had by far the best online experience of all the online grocery stores (I’ve tried Sainsbury, Iceland and Ocado in years gone by), a friend who worked for John Lewis’ consistent evangelism and a couple of vouchers, coupled with a persistent desire for us to eat healthy, provided the push we needed to give it a another go. Over the years they have revamped their website and their delivery service is superb – slick and seamless where Tesco’s is clunky and fiddly. One example of this is that they bring the groceries in bags which they collect on their next delivery, ensuring they can walk straight to your kitchen and not faff around with trays or pallets and you’re still empowered to be moderately eco-friendly as far as the bags are concerned. Also one-hour booking slots, etc.

It struck me that online delivery services free you from the supermarket lottery of life. Whilst proximity to good groceries was an important factor in us choosing our home, we weren’t specific about the grocer, and as it happens we’re in a Tesco catchment area – the nearest Waitrose is 15 miles away, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s about twice the distance of the local Tesco. This means you get accustomed to a certain level of mediocrity from your shopping after a while, and you get constrained by the choices Tesco imposes on you. One massive bonus of the village we’re in is we have two local butchers, so at least for meat we have some extra choice… and of course our garden will hopefully soon provide some veg.

That said, the delivery charges on Ocado are steep and we’re not sure yet if we’re going to set up a recurring shop (which gives you free delivery) as there is a certain joy and satisfaction in actually going to a shop and getting inspiration for meals that way. OK, it’s not Rick Stein wandering through the markets of a Mediterranean town, but it’s less sterile than hitting a virtual checkout…