Thinking about buying your groceries online, but not sure which website to choose? Use our customer satisfaction ratings to find the best store for your needs.
* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
Canstar Blue research finalised in October 2015, published in November 2015.
Our research found that women (27%) are more likely than men (21%) to have bought groceries online in the last six months. However, of those who have done so, men (22%) were more likely than women (18%) to do all of their grocery shopping this way. This suggests women are more inclined to ‘top-up’ their big online shop with the occasional visit to a physical store.
In terms of demographics, adults aged in their 30s were most likely to have bought groceries online in the last six months (37%), followed by 18-29 year-olds (30%) and consumers in their 40s (29%). Those aged 70 and over were least likely to have done so (9%). However, of those older Australians who are already familiar with the online shopping process, there is a strong willingness to do all of their shopping this way in future.
Our survey found that 35% of consumers buy their groceries online because it’s easier than shopping in a physical store (i.e. getting their shopping home themselves), while 24% struggle to find the time to shop in store, 17% believe it works out cheaper buying online, and 7% just don’t like visiting supermarkets. Interestingly, men (21%) were more likely than women (14%) to think it’s cheaper buying online.
The majority of survey respondents (55%) always use the same website when they buy their groceries online, but 36% have tried more than one online grocery store. And most consumers (64%) are inclined to click onto the website of the supermarket chain they usually buy from in person.
More than half of consumers (58%) said they tend to spend less online than they would if they bought their groceries from a bricks and mortar store. Overall, survey respondents reported an average spend of $130 on their weekly online shop. A previous Canstar Blue survey found that consumers spend an average of $138 per week when they buy groceries in store.
It’s interesting to note that consumers tend to spend less shopping online, despite the added cost of delivery, which will vary between retailers and is often dependent on the amount you spend on your groceries. However, it’s worth remembering that buying online arguably makes you less likely to impulse buy other products that perhaps weren’t on your shopping list in the first place. Shopping online could also make you more price-conscious and willing to select a cheaper option if it’s available. You could argue that shopping online allows you to pay closer attention to your spending, when it’s easier to get carried away in store.
The cost of having your groceries delivered will depend on your location and how much you spend. Some retailers have flat shipping fees for metro areas but different rates for regional customers, while others will determine costs based on more specific requirements. Coles says its delivery costs depend, in part, on the day you want your groceries delivered and the length of ‘delivery window’ chosen. Coles also currently offers free deliveries for first orders and on Wednesdays, but only if you spend $100 or more. Woolworths has set delivery rates based on the cost of groceries, with orders of $300 or more delivered free of charge. Woolworths also has a ‘Delivery Saver’ option which allows customers to save money on costs in the long term by purchasing a regular delivery package in advance. Delivery costs and conditions can vary significantly between retailers, so pay close attention before deciding which website to use.
Coles and Woolworths both provide ‘click and collect’ services at some stores. This basically means that customers can order their groceries online, but instead of waiting for them to be delivered to their home, they can collect the order from a selected location. So you’re paying for someone else to walk around the supermarket for you! Coles says its service is free, but it has a $50 minimum spend, while Woolworths also says delivery is free and that customers can pick up their groceries from a store, BWS ‘drive thru’ or Woolworths-branded service station. Our survey found that 30% of online grocery shoppers use the click and collect option.
Some consumers may spend less money at the online checkout than they would in store, but grocery shopping online is not without its frustrations. Delivery costs are the biggest cause of complaint for 30% of online shoppers, we found. Following that, 18% said their greatest issue was receiving replacement items for products that were unavailable, and 15% cited uncertain delivery times as their major bugbear. Only 11% complained that the website was too difficult to use (i.e. the ordering process) and the same number (11%) were most upset about a lack of special offers online.
Aussie Farmers Direct is an independent online only retailer with a broad range of some 170 “all-Australian” products, including fruit and vegetables, dairy, bread, deli items, seafood and meats. The company, which has about 200 franchisees, insists it’s about much more than just getting your fresh produce delivered. Aussie Farmers Direct says it supports farmers and their communities through the Aussie Farmers Foundation and is “hell bent” on keeping Australia’s food manufacturing sector alive and kicking, investing in its own Aussie Farmers Dairy. Aussie Farmers Direct says deliveries are free and so far 130,000-plus consumers “prefer to shop the Aussie Farmers Direct way”.
Coles is part of the Wesfarmers group, one of Australia’s largest public companies and largest retailers. Its other brands include Target, Kmart, Bunnings and Officeworks. Coles operates in excess of 750 supermarkets nationwide. In addition to its physical stores, Coles Online started taking orders in 1999, delivering to certain areas of Sydney and Melbourne. The company went on to purchase Sydney-based internet grocery store Shopfast in 2003 and in 2008 Coles Online launched a new website with a view to making online shopping faster and easier for customers. Its website was relaunched in 2013 and Coles also now offers a Click and Collect option, which allows customers to place their order online and collect it from a designated collection point. Its Metro shipping fees range between $6 and $13, but costs vary depending on location, time and length of delivery window chosen. Free delivery is also available depending on conditions.
Woolworths Limited is one of Australia’s largest companies with extensive retail interests throughout the country. It operates more than 870 supermarkets and is also the country’s largest takeaway liquor retailer, including brands Dan Murphy’s and BWS. Woolworths also owns discount chain Big W, Masters Home Improvements and has a joint venture with petrol retailer Caltex. Along with Coles, Woolworths is a market leader in online grocery sales having launched its online sales division in 1998. After serving only Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, Woolworths extended its reach to other major cities in 2008 and now delivers nationwide. Its website was relaunched in 2015 and deliver fees vary depending on how much you spend on groceries. Those who spend $300 or over will get their order delivered for free.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 6,014 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have ordered groceries online (fresh food items) in the last six months – in this case, 1,244 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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