Sainsbury’s came top in our Online 33 shop, scoring 93 out of 100.
Success was built on an “intuitive and easy to navigate” website; the predictive text function in the search bar brought up items quickly, even when misspelled; the increasing basket total tab was helpful; and there were lots of multibuy savings and Aldi Price Match offers highlighted. So smooth was the shopping experience that our shopper placed the order and created a new account in just under 40 minutes. And the driver was helpful and polite.
Two points behind came Asda, Tesco and Waitrose, all with 91 points. Asda’s highlights were a “very easy to use” website, perfect availability, and excellent driver service score. The downside was that the crates used for delivery (no plastic bags) were “quite dirty”.
Tesco impressed with its sleek and smooth online platform, and strong availability – all items barring whole bread rolls were received as ordered. However, it must have been a bumpy ride on the way to our shopper’s home – some liquid soap (not one of our 33 products) had leaked and tainted the packaging of the toilet roll and tortilla wraps. The driver noticed and offered to help wipe it off.
Waitrose also provided a “very good experience”, although the website was not as user-friendly – the search function struggled to find misspelled items and promotions “could have been more visible”. The shopper accepted one of the alternative suggestions (Romaine lettuce for Chinese leaf) although they didn’t feel it was suitable, as well as a branded toilet roll instead of own-label. Driver service was great, but substitutions bumped up the cost of the shop.
Amazon’s app left our shopper rather confused. They found it hard to distinguish between Amazon groceries and general items at the beginning, as the Amazon Fresh subheading was not very visible.
Moreover, the alternatives it suggested were not close enough to the original items for the shopper to accept them (Galaxy milk chocolate instead of chocolate eclairs; lasagne in place of shepherd’s pie). On delivery day, two crucial items were not in stock and therefore not delivered – milk and eggs. The biggest perk was the free delivery.
Morrisons tied with Amazon at 77 points but for different reasons. The website was “fairly intuitive” and the checkout process was simple and smooth – although the frequent ‘suggested items’ prompt was “a little excessive”. Availability was good overall but the shopper did not accept the two suggested alternatives.
In the end, it was the lower-than-average driver service score (driver was polite but didn’t check condition of items) and plastic bag score (Morrisons doesn’t offer bagless delivery) that dragged the supermarket down.