Coles and Woolworths have been offering online shopping for a while now, but it’s done to purely help bolster sales, not to necessarily help the consumer or be more convenient in any way.
Supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths work on a different model where they rely on a consumer entering their bricks and mortar stores to purchase their items, you end up leaving the store with more than you wanted and items you weren’t even going there for.
Coles and Woolworths honestly spend a lot of time and money on store design and product positioning to make this happen.
That is exactly why Coles and Woolworths half-arse their online shopping offerings. It’s no mistake that there are minimum limits to purchase before delivery can be made, and then on top of that, you are charged for delivery anyway and charged even more for same-day delivery.
If we dig deeper into the half-arsed online model provided by Coles and Woolworths, it becomes laughable. The order fulfilment and delivery are done at a local store level, what I find funny about this is that there is a lot of manual labour going on and staff removing products from the shelves, competing against other consumers.
Overall it gives a poor consumer experience for everyone. People who shop instore are trying to get their trolleys past the big cages used by order fulfilment staff. Short supply of some products will occur because its all done at a local level and not a fulfilment centre and of course the constant mistakes being made when it comes to substitution when one product is not available.
The most famous here has been when consumers have ordered vegan sausages only to be provided with real meat as the substitution. A damn joke if you ask me.
At what point does this become profitable? Or more to the point how can this help consumers save dollars by not having to pay inflated costs to cover the bricks and mortar store and the staff member who personally shopped for you?
If we take a look at a real online model, such as Amazon.com.au. There exists a very large fulfilment centre, workers and robots to help with fulfilment.
Same day delivery is all part of the customer service because they want you to order online from them again. But also not having such a large footprint of bricks and mortar stores to pay for, help in passing on savings to the consumer.
Unlike the half-arsed model where you will find yourself back instore a few days later fixing up any screw-ups to your most recent online order.
If Coles and Woolworths wish to scale there online offering and compete they will have to revisit the current model. Start offering better pricing and same-day delivery as standard. If not, sadly consumers will vote with their feet and Coles and Woolworths will become an afterthought.
I personally am a tech guru and order most things online, one thing I will not do is waste my time ordering online with Coles or Woolworths. It’s all very much a joke, everything right to choosing what time they should deliver because no it’s never on time either.
This article is a true reflection of my experiences with ordering online via Coles, Woolworths and Amazon Australia. It is not a paid article and I have no investment in any of the mentioned supermarkets or online stores.
Chet Carter is an IT Professional of 22 years, but has worked with a range of businesses giving him in-depth understanding of many different industries. Chet Carter is a business owner but shares his knowledge and experience through posts like these.