Online grocery shopping is big business, and is expected to get bigger: according to analysts at IGD the market will almost double in value by 2016 to £11.2bn.
Tesco has announced it plans to build a national network of online-only stores to cater for the surge in popularity of internet grocery shopping, although one expert recently warned that delivery charges may go up to as much as £15 to reflect the true cost to retailers.
We thought it was a good time to compare what the main chains offer, who has the lowest charge and who keeps you hanging around for the shortest time.
Lowest delivery charges
Waitrose seems to offer the best deal at first glance – it is the only store to offer free delivery (although only for orders in excess of £50) regardless of the time of day.
Ocado offers free delivery after 10pm most evenings, while Sainsbury’s offers free delivery Tuesday to Thursday if you spend more than £100.
Otherwise, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda all charge bewteen about £3 and £6. Before 10pm Ocado’s varies from free to as much as £6.99.
Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose also offer a Click and Collect service, where customers can collect pre-ordered groceries in-store – however, Tesco charges a minimum of £2 for this service, where the others do it for free.
Shortest slot length
Sainsbury’s and Ocado both have one-hour booking slots, allowing a more specific timeframe for delivery and causes minimum disruption to your day. Some of Tesco’s branches also offer one-hour slots, but the rest only provide buyers with two-hour slots.
Longest delivery hours
Ocado is the standout winner in this category, with delivery times stretching from 6am to 11.30pm – highly convenient for anyone with long working hours and commitments during the day. Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose all offer similar delivery times, ranging from about 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.
Free delivery offers
Asda offers free delivery for anyone who spends more than £99 using an Asda Reward credit card, giving them a chance to build up points for future transactions. Ocado works on a similar system, with shoppers able to save long-term by buying a Delivery Pass which provides year-long free delivery after the initial payment of £109.99.
Customers might be mildly inconvenienced if they wish to do a quick online shop for a few items at either Asda or Ocado, as Asda operates a £25 minimum spend and Ocado £40.
Sainsbury’s has no minimum spend but does charge more for delivering orders below £40. The maximum delivery fee is £6.95 compared with £5.95 on larger orders.