Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Publix is starting to offer curbside delivery

Starting in September, Publix will offer curbside service in two test locations (Atlanta and Tampa).
Consumer can order their products online (all discounts apply) and then have a window of 30 minutes to pick up their products at Publix by driving to Publix and wait till an associate is bringing the goods out and load the car. The service will cost $7.99 plus the costs of the goods.
This another approach to get consumer to buy eatable goods over the Internet. Back in 2000 I used a service in Cologne (Germany) which delivered the food to my home, which was convenient because my apartment was on the 5th floor. I did not need to carry heavy water bottles. Then, the service was $20 and I was willing to pay. The service unfortunately died, most likely because the costs for the grocery store to deliver was too high. In 2007 is used D'Agostino in New York and I liked it. I did not mind to pay more to get my goods delivered. Unfortunately their online store did offer products which were not at the next D'Agostino to my house. Many times I got replacement products. I remember I did order a certain French Camembert and got instead a German Brie.
Especially in Germany ordering perishable goods online with home delivery makes sense. We all work during normal work hours, and in Germany are almost no stores where you can buy Sundays or during week after 8PM. It does make sense as well in cities like NY. Having a car is luxury, finding a parking spot to normal conditions is not possible. Carrying the goods through metro and through half of Manhattan is painful and more exercise than fun.

But I am not sure yet, why I need the service in cities where stores are open 7 days a week and parking is no issue. I might want to order online and pick up to avoid crowds and to find easier things I am looking for. For Publix it might be not the best idea, people who are shopping online want usually certain products, and if they are not available they want look for similar product, they go to another online store. Different in brick and mortar stores, once there, we buy different cereals if necessary to avoid to drive to another store and I think this is the biggest issue why we don't yet order every day products online. It is harder to find online the product than in stores because we don't know what we are looking for. Not always the product we want is available and then is the impulse buy. Many times we know 5 items we want to buy, but actually buy 10 items. In a brick and mortar store it is so easy. Just throw your items in the cart and be surprised about the bill at the end.
Online, we won't do so much impulse buying, first the product are not so nice displayed when browsing (there are no isle to walk buy) and second we see instantly how much we are going to spend, which reduces impulse buy.
Talking a item out of the basket when bill is too high is embarrassing, other people will see it at least the cashier. Deleting an item before checking out (online) does not hurt and nobody will see.

We will see how the curbside service from Publix will go.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

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