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Review: Best Online Grocery Delivery Services

Review Of Best Online Grocery Delivery Providers

It could be that moving from one aisle to another is a big turn off for you, you are really busy, you are self-isolating or you simply hate grocery shopping. Whatever the reason maybe, the fact remains that you still must eat and groceries are but a must shop category. And that is where online grocery delivery services come in.

According to research by Statista, 52% of grocery stores were already offering home delivery or store pick up options by August of 2019, and this is in addition to a projected roll out of integration of online grocery services by 25% of those existing. This only goes to point out the fierce cut throat competition existing between the crowded chains, which are still growing by the day. 

With the thousands of online grocery stores marking the online grocery landscape, it can be pretty confusing and at times frustrating on where to shop. However the ease, efficiency, flexibility, affordability and convenience accompanying it is fast transforming the industry into a multi-billion dollar sector. For with online shopping, all you need to do is virtually fill a grocery cart from the comfort of your couch, pay with your card and Voila, your groceries appear at your door. And this is exactly what the 21st ever busy person is after.

But how do you sift through the thousands of stores to settle on that which best meets you personalized preference? 

That is the very reason we compiled this comprehensive list to help you decide. 

1. ThriveMarket.

Starting our list is ThriveMarket.

Founded in 2015, and built to eliminate the brick and mortar grocery stores, thrive has established itself as a leading membership-based grocery delivery store boasting of over 6,00 organic and natural groceries.

True to its founding vision, ThriveMarket offers contactless deliveries, is eco-friendly, alcohol free, and gives back to society through its give back charity program.

Delivery – the deliveries are contactless and take between 3 to 5 days. You may however be forced to wait for up to 10 days should your order include seafood, frozen meat and wines.

Coverage– It delivers across the USA except Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska. 

Membership, shipping and delivery costs – Members can opt for either the annual membership plan of $120 or a monthly billing of $9.95. The first order is shipped for free after which all orders under $49 will cost you a handling fee of $5.95. They offer free shipping on all orders above $49.

Cash back upon cancellation– Thrive will refund you your membership fee should you choose to cancel 30 days after sign-up

Discounts – In return for the monthly or annual membership fee, members receive free samples of new products and 50% off on all quality organic products.

2. Amazon Fresh

An affiliate of the American e-commerce giant, Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service that has tentacles across major cities of USA, India, London, Tokyo among many others.

Among the pioneers of online grocery delivery services, Amazon fresh has stamped its authority as a leader on matters grocery. Building on existing infrastructure, both physical and non-physical, clientele base, reputation and financial muscles, Amazon Fresh has revolutionized the online grocery delivery service to make it a thrilling, seamless, and convenient most preferred option.

Delivery areas – Its pickup or delivery options are available across major cities that it is available in.  You can check out their website, or mobile based apps to check their availability in your current place of residence or visit.

Delivery fee – orders amounting $35 and above and that are to be delivery within 2 hours are free. One hour delivery will however have you incur an additional $7.99 with pickup of within 30 minutes attracting a levy or fee of $4.99.

Delivery Time – With Amazon Fresh, you can expect your delivery within 2 to 3 hours after you order.

3. Fresh Direct

Available in most web-based technologies and mobile based apps, Freshdirect works just like other online grocery sites. Among the pioneer stores, the store has expanded its services, initially exclusive to New York, to other states including Washington, DC among many others.

Delivery– Most of the areas served are eligible for same day delivery. Some select few however, have the option of an express 2-hour delivery. And others still can take up to a week to be delivered.

Geographic coverage– compared to most, it has a pretty narrow net that include Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Delaware, and Jersey Shore among a few others.

Shipping and delivery costs– it has a minimum order of $30 that will cost you a delivery of $5.99. Unlike some of its competitors, its minimum order and delivery fee vary across localities with Hamptons being the most expensive at $99 minimum at a delivery fee of $15.99.

Membership. The main options available are a six month plan that will cost you $79 or an annual plan that will cost you $120. The plans are called DeliveryPass option with the year plan allowing members $5 discounts for weekday deliveries, and reserved time slots with free deliveries.

4. Walmart grocery+

With over 1600 stores across the country ranging from hypermarkets, retail stores, grocery stores among others, Walmart has a significant market reach. Founded in 1962 before being incorporated in 1969, Walmart has grown to be a leader that has pushed convenience to a whole new level with its Grocery Delivery membership option for its customers.

Delivery– Initially piloted in four markets, Walmart’s Today received an overwhelming positive response forcing the store to expand it to 200 metro areas. Additionally you can have express deliveries or have them scheduled for delivery at your convenience.

Membership – The annual membership fee is $98 with a cheaper monthly renewal option of $12.95. Members are entitled to free unlimited deliveries, fuel discounts and access to family shopping tools that make shopping easier and faster. The membership has a free 15 day trial for first timers. For non-members, a pay on delivery option is also available.

Shipping and delivery fee – it ranges between $7.95 to $9.95, and your order must be of $30 and above, for pay on delivery but is free for members. The fee however varies depending on order urgency for both members and non-members. The urgency fee is an extra $10 above normal fee and can see to it that you have your order for up to 2 hours after ordering. 

Delivery coverage – with over 1600 stores spread across America, Walmart has so wide a coverage. To check if your area is covered, simply access the website or mobile based app and check whether your area is covered.

5. Instacart

Founded in 2012, Instacart serves customers across Canada and the USA. Its grocery delivery services can be accessed through both the web and mobile based apps. Unlike other grocery delivery services, Instacart customers will shop through the company’s mobile app or web based platform, fill in their virtual cart and submit it for processing. The company will then have one of its part time employees to shop, on your behalf, from major stores close to you and drop them to you.

Membership – Members sign up for Instacart Express for an annual billing of $99 or $9.99 per month. However non-members too can shop using Instacart for free for first orders that must be more than $35. 

Delivery cost – It is free for customers with Instacart Express and will cost non-members a minimum of $3.99 fee for orders amounting more than $35. In addition to the membership or delivery fee, customers are strongly encouraged to tip the personal shoppers who deliver with tips of either $5 or 20% of the cost of shopping.

Delivery times – The average delivery times for Instacart ranges between the same day to next day. More flexible deliveries are however available and can allow for advance scheduling of up to two weeks. The deliveries can be changed up until the part time employee starts shopping. 

6. Imperfect

Saddened by the gleam food wastage statistics, Imperfect was conceived. This was a few years back, while the founder, Ben Simon was in college. In the conceived idea, He made it his life  goal to improve nutrition for the general populace by improving food business – specifically fruits and veggies – outcomes through technology, and that is what imperfect has become.

With weekly, bi-weekly or customized option schedules, including pause options, imperfect will deliver customized food boxes within 7 states at up to 50% off normal grocery store prices.

Delivery times – deliveries are made on Monday through to Saturday 9 PM. Customizations options are available to customers that may include, pause, bi-weekly or even weekly deliveries.

Delivery costs –launched and built on a cost reduction and minimal emission, imperfect clusters clients into efficient delivery zones to benefit on economies of scale and reduce emissions. The fee ranges between $4.99 to $8.99 and will be included on your customized cart invoice when ordering.

Discounts – Customers eligible for the yet to be rolled out SNAP program are entitled to 33% off total order costs. Periodic promotions of 10% are also periodically available.

7. Postmates

Reliant on its mobile based apps and global positioning systems to match and pair consumers with local grocery delivery, postmates has posted up to 90 % profits year after year. The on demand delivery company built to rival the likes of Amazon Fresh, Instacart and Fresh direct operates on an on demand farm to table model.

Delivery – Touted to give most online grocery stores a run for their money, the company tried 30 minute delivery windows, and 2 to 3 hour windows. Other longer options are available and customers can track their deliveries.

Coverage – It makes deliveries to 400 plus states including some parts of Mexico.

Delivery cost – Most of its deliveries are priced between $0.99 to $ 9.99 and may be calculated as a percentage of your total cost. They may also vary from one merchant to another. This however is available for review before your checkout from your virtual shopping cart. 

Membership – Annual subscription fee of $99.99 per or monthly billing cycles of $12 will guarantee you unlimited free deliveries. Postmates unlimited members are however still charged varied service fees and small cart fees of $1.99.

8. Shipt

The company partnered with numerous retailers to offer grocery delivery services. Unlike its competitors, Shipts allows one to shop from stores that are nearest to them. This greatly reduces the turnaround time. Even more, it will allow you to shop any time subject to working hours of the select stores closest. 

Membership – the app is exclusive to members with an annual subscription fee of $99 or $14 per month. Grocery product pricing will vary depending on your select store. Non-members cannot use Shipt.

Delivery fee – Deliveries are free for members who spend above $35. The non-members will however have to fork an extra, in addition to the membership fee, $7 for orders worth $35 and.

Delivery – It delivers within an hour or more from time of delivery. It also allows you to text individual shoppers in case of need to change order details. This however should be done prior to the actual shopping. The delivery time may vary depending on other factors like distance to your address.

Coverage – Its services are available in over 200 cities across the USA.

9. Safeway

A unique departure from its fierce competitors, Safeway does not offer annual or monthly subscription plans. But just like most of its competitors, it does offer first time shoppers free deliveries. 

Delivery fee –for orders below $150 you will pay $12. 95. Orders amounting to anything above $150 will save you an extra $3 fee below that is chargeable on orders worth $150 and below. Notable, the delivery fee is not inclusive of the tip to the person delivering.

Delivery window – the time taken to deliver can be anything between an hour to more. This, just like the delivery rates depend on order size, mileage to be covered and availability of requested groceries.

Discounts – online grocery pricing is similar to in-store prices but can be subject to discount terms. That is, discounts like digital coupons can be redeemed but they have to have been added to your account before order placement. Interestingly, paper coupons are not redeemable for grocery deliveries.

Coverage – the coverage is majorly in Colorado but other cities and states are covered. This can be confirmed by checking on your account before you place an order.

10. Hungry Root

Unlike most in this list, Hungryroot combines grocery delivery options and meal kit services. The grocery can be customized to meal specific groceries, general grocery shopping or a two in one option of the former and latter. 

Built around the philosophy of simplifying grocery shopping and making healthy eating a habit, Hungryroot provides vegan grocery deliveries that can be further customized by non-vegans.

Where available – Everywhere within the USA

Delivery and shipping fee – though rare, shipping fee may be included depending on mileage to be covered. The delivery fee is within the ranges of most traditional stores ranging between $7.99 and $12.99. 

Time taken to deliver –customers get weekly deliveries of their small, medium or plus size boxes. This contains their pre-selected grocery essentials but can be customized prior to delivery. Subscription plans- with a customization option to either increase or reduce the box size, plans are based on a credit point system of $69 and above. Depending on the plan, your delivery can be tailored to be ingredient based, recipe based or a combination of both.

11. Peapod

Among the pioneer grocery delivery services, Peapod offers both home deliveries and pick up options. In the pickup option, at a minimum of $30 per order, shoppers will load your order into your truck in select Stop & Shop stores for $2.95 service fee.

Delivery fee – It largely varies on demand but will cost you a minimum of between $6.95 to $9.95 per delivery with a minimum order amount of $60 for non-members. Members enjoy free deliveries with discounts available for off-peak times. Tipping is permitted.

Membership – It offers an optional PodPass that can be billed either monthly, semi-annually or annually. This will cost you $13, $69 or $99 respectively. This guarantees you free delivery for the period of the subscription. 

Time taken to deliver – deliveries can be scheduled for delivery for as soon as a day after order or for up to two weeks in advance.

Where available – Currently it is majorly available in Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and New England. With expansion plans however to new regions.

12. Boxed

With expert shoppers to hand pick daily fresh high quality produce, Boxed lets you shop and save money on groceries.

Where available – available across the contiguous U.S.

Membership – ordering is free but shipping will come at a cost for non-members. The annual subscription is $49 with a cash back guarantee of 2%, exclusive discounts and free shipping on orders amounting to $19.98 or more. 

Delivery fee – It is free for both members and non-members (only on first order) for deliveries of $19.98 and more or $79 respectively. Subsequent deliveries will cost non-members $6.99 for orders that are $49 or less. Additionally, Boxed will not charge non-members for any shipping fees for two day orders should they spend more than $20.

Delivery timeframe – you may have to wait for your order for between 2 to 3 days from the time you submit your order.

This summarizes our review of the best online grocery delivery services. Much as they are out to take off the weight of physical shopping off your shoulder, care should be taken to ensure you are getting value for your money. Key factors to consider in selection should include, but not limited to, payment options, reliability, turn around, variety of produce, quality of produce, cost of produce, discounts among many others.


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