I’m not a techie per se – I don’t hanker after the latest gadgets or the funkiest new technology. Many of the electronic items in my house were bought on a budget, some are even pre-loved. But one thing that I’ve been quite pleased with in recent months has been the advent of the grocery delivery services.
I’m the one who does most of the meal-planning and cooking at home, and so naturally the responsibility of grocery shopping falls on my shoulders. With two under 2, I initially tried to do one major grocery run to the wet market/ supermarket a week to save time; but honestly the carrying got to me. It’s not easy juggling 20kgs of groceries with a stroller and an easily-bored toddler.
Each of the 3 big players in the grocery delivery market have their strengths; but also weaknesses. Let me share with you:
Redmart is the biggest player possibly because they were first-movers. The co-founder of Facebook is apparently an investor. They stock their own inventory in the warehouse.
- Huge variety, excellent range. But, why you no sell bittergourd!!?
- Generally, they carry higher quality items; some even from artisanal stores.
- Good range of ‘angmoh’ items – if you need stuff like gluten-free, organic etc.
- Excellent web & app user experience. It actually makes grocery shopping fun.
- Excellent and responsive customer service.
- I seem to no longer be able to get same-day or even next-day deliveries now that they are getting more popular.
- I’ve encountered late deliveries a few times, but to their credit, they do give me some cash credit in my account to make up for it.
- Their meat items, while fresh, tend to be of the more expensive range.
They don’t carry their own inventory. Essentially what they have is an army of shoppers ready to chiong down the NTUC aisles for you when you place an order and deliver it to your place.
- Exact same pricing as what you get in stores.
- Managed to get same day delivery once.
- Because they don’t stock their own inventory, you can order the item online but when the guy shops for you, the item isn’t available. Now, that sucks. And in my experience, it happens really often – especially if you pick a delivery time like evenings (which I do because that’s the only time I’m home) and the shopper starts shopping for your items at 5pm. That’s when all the veges and fruits are gone already.
- Their website only has pictures, but not descriptions, of the items. Sometimes, I need more information of the item but there’s none.
PurelyFresh is actually the owner of several wet markets and they have leveraged on this supply chain to grab the market share of people like me – still like the quality afforded by the traditional wet market but needing the convenience of online shopping.
- Their veges, meats and fish are seriously fresh. Excellent quality. The pomfret I bought was fresher than the freshest fish I could get as the first customer at NTUC.
- Customisation. You can request for any type of customisation for your items – just like you can at a wet market. Chopping, slicing, gutting, de-skinning, de-boning, portioning. And no mistakes so far.
- Clean packaging. The items come perfectly wrapped and clean. No leaking of blood etc from the meats. I just pop it all directly into my chest freezer.
- Small variety.
- Despite running their operations as an “online wet market”, there are many items you can get at the wet market that you can’t get here. Items like shui jiao skin, salted vegetables, salted fish etc are strangely not available. Low margins, I suppose?
- I think they don’t deliver on Mondays (traditionally the day most wet markets are closed).
You can probably tell by now, my experience with HonestBee hasn’t been fantastic. Given their operations model, I think there’s not much they can do to rectify the issues.
I continue to use both Redmart and PurelyFresh (I just ordered a third weekly order from PurelyFresh). Redmart is the mainstay for heavy groceries like rice, laundry detergent or drinks when I’m having guests over. Those tend to take time for me to accumulate enough for free delivery. For weekly vegetables, meats and groceries, I think I’m gonna stick to PurelyFresh for its quality and freshness.
Which grocery delivery service is your favourite?