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Pros and Cons of Buying Food Online

There are pros and cons to every service. Here are a few of them for buying food online.

By Kari OakleyPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

Buying food and other groceries has experienced a boom in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people feel safer using delivery or pickup options than they do spending time in a store picking things out for themselves. There are pros and cons to every service. Here are a few of them for buying food online.


1. Variety

While you may choose to make online purchases from your local grocery store and pick them up yourself, there are really no restrictions to what kinds of food you can buy or from where. You can choose to subscribe to meal kits, check out specialty stores, and buy from other states or internationally. With this ability, shoppers can try new recipes and increase the variety of their diets.

2. Speed

When you go to a physical grocery store, it can take much longer than expected to finish shopping. You could spend time searching for a product you need or get distracted by something. Shopping online can help keep you on-track and find things more easily. Additionally, not needing to go to the physical store means you don't need to spend time driving there and back - that time really adds up!

3. Price Comparisons

One of the best pros of online shopping is the ability to quickly and easily compare prices. If, for example, you want to buy blueberries, you can check the pricing of blueberries at different grocery stores and produce markets in your area via their websites and then choose the best price. While you should factor in the time you need to wait before picking up or having your order be delivered, the speed at which you can compare and choose items is greatly increased.

4. Convenience and Safety

When you shop for food online, you don't need to wait in check-out lines or queues at the butcher or deli counters. It's also easier to compare pricing and stick to your budget. Taxes are calculated for you by the software, as well as the shipping costs if you choose that option. Additionally, the ability to shop from any device with an internet connection means you can shop from your home at any time and you can avoid spending too much time in the store exposing yourself to germs. Convenience and safety can even extend outside the home. Devices like wifi vending machines can help customers pick out and pay for food without needing to touch it or go inside the store.


1. Shipping Costs

While shipping can be free, it's usually only orders that meet requirements like a minimum cost. You need to factor shipping costs into your budget if you want your order delivered, especially if it's a smaller order. If you only buy a few lower-cost items, the shipping cost may exceed the grocery price.

2. Shipping Delays or Issues

Additionally, there may be issues with shipping. The popularity boom at the beginning of the pandemic overwhelmed many shipping services. There were backorders and slowdowns in service which delayed grocery deliveries. There can be other issues as well, such as an item being incorrectly listed as in-stock on the website, while it's actually not available at the store your order is coming from.

3. Quality Issues

Online shopping can be great for nonperishable items, but issues can arise with the quality of perishable items, including produce and dairy. These items are at more risk of damage during the delivery process. Some people just like to pick out their own produce, and can be unhappy with the quality of the produce they receive.

4. Products out of Stock

If a product is out of stock, the website will usually be updated to reflect that, but it can still be frustrating. There will often be suggested substitutions, but sometimes those won't work for you, and sometimes there just isn't a substitution available at all.

A pros and cons list can really help you decide whether something line grocery shopping is right for you.


About the Creator

Kari Oakley

Kari Oakley is a fitness trainer from Kenosha Wisconsin. She now lives in downtown Chicago, and loves to get out. She is a big fan of anything adventure, and loves getting a workout in the outdoors.

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    Kari OakleyWritten by Kari Oakley

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