Technology can either be a blessing or a curse. It’s a blessing when you can order groceries online and never have to step foot in a grocery store again. It’s a curse when companies sell your email address to other companies who end up sending you spam mail every day. That can be a good thing when I’m offered 50% off my first bag from this new and hip website, but a bad thing when I wake up every morning to 20 emails from people and places I don’t care about.
But let’s talk about ordering groceries online, and the fact that I just placed my first official online grocery order from Whole Foods about 5 minutes ago via Instacart.
As I’m writing this, my OpenOffice Writer fills up the right side of my screen and my order and tracking information takes up the left. Whole Foods offers a step-by-step delivery process where customers can watch their order go from received, to in progress, shopping complete, in transit, and then complete. This way, customers know their items are being picked up and are on their way. They also send text notifications where customers can track and make changes to their order. Orders can be delivered in as little as an hour, or they can be scheduled for delivery later in the day or later in the week.
This is perfect for busy parents who don’t have enough hours in the day to make the trip to a grocery store, spend time shopping, and make the trip back home lugging all those heavy groceries. Grocery shopping can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on how far grocery stores are from your home and how many items you need to pick up.
Parents do so much in a day; they drop their children to school, go to work, pick up the kids from school, drive home, start cooking dinner, help children with homework, clean up after dinner, get children ready for bed, finish work, and then go to bed themselves. For the parents who are constantly on-the-go, online delivery can be scheduled on the commute home from work, and if scheduled perfectly, their groceries will be delivered as soon as they get to their driveway. They never have to make plans to go to the grocery store ever again.
Online grocery delivery is also good for those who don’t have cars (like me). The nearest grocery store is a $3.89 UberPool ride away, or an $8 UberX if I’m running short on time. I will spend either approximately $7-$16 just to get there and back home. With Whole Foods, the first delivery is free, and after, it’s $3.99 for a two-hour delivery or $5.99 for a one-hour delivery. Customers can also purchase a $99 membership and receive free delivery on any order over $35. Depending on how often you shop, you might end up saving money, not to mention time.
Outsourcing basic tasks is nothing new. From hiring gardeners and pet groomers, to having dinner delivered from your favorite Chinese restaurant, and having your laundry picked up and dropped off, older generations have been able to outsource tasks for years. The only difference is that now there’s a website and app for everything. By 2020, the only task people will have is to outsource all of their own.