Grocery Gateway: My Experiences

2020, Apr 22    

One must come into this fully aware that the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is in full effect and greatly impacts the quality of service provided specifically by this company as it deals in groceries.

I haven’t used Grocery Gateway in years but given the fact that many common staples are hard to find now at the grocery store I decided to try it out again.

Before you begin shopping you need to reserve a delivery window. This is the hardest part of the process. There seems to be a 14 day window to book your deliveries. Naturally they were all reserved well in advance. I ended up writing a program to monitor my delivery area for open delivery windows since it was impossible to book otherwise.

I ended up getting a window on a Friday for a delivery on a Monday between 4-9PM.

There are also two fees associated with each order:

  • Delivery fee: 9.99
  • Fuel surcharge: 1.00

Once you obtain a window you may begin shopping. You have have several hours reserved on your slot.

The search doesn’t seem to be particularly accurate. Searching for “yeast” returns Magic baking powder. There are other queries that yield similar results.

Adding a product to your cart automatically ticks the substitution button which you need to disable manually as I do not want any substitutions. Changing quantities is quick and easy. Prices update in real-time as expected.

You also have full control over lists. These can save lots of time. The searching and adding of products is surprising time consuming as one tends to order lots of grocery items when compared to traditional online shopping.

The delivery occurred around 6:30PM on Monday. The driver called the number on the order and unloaded the delivery at the front door. The worker was wearing a face mask.

The groceries were packed using plastic bags. Frozen items were placed in bags with frozen products.

You are provided a printed copy of your invoice which among other things includes highlighted entries showing items that were not fulfilled. As mentioned previously, I unchecked the option of any substitutions. I noticed that the quite a few of the items that were hard to find in a physical store were absent from my order.

  • 21 items were ordered in total
  • 8 items were not fulfilled

Tomato paste, whole tomatoes, yeast, white and bread flour, all purpose cleaner and frozen french fries were the casualties. The flour, yeast and tomatoes were the items that were really required and are in high demand.

I suppose their inventory system is unable to accurately assign items to orders since there were items missing. All items obviously were in stock at the time of ordering. The addition/deletion of delivery windows with order variances can cause the issues coupled with the surge in demand.

The process overall is good once you obtain a delivery window. I must be honest in that I’m disappointed in the unfilled items. Those were the main impetus of placing the order.