Everyone on earth is given 24 hours each day. I really do my best to make every second count. As a busy working mom, I work hard to prioritize my time for faith, family and career, and I don't usually have much time left to do things I want to do (or need to do) with such an over-committed schedule. Even grocery shopping has become a chore since the new 124,000-square-foot Kroger Marketplace opened in my little town. This new 63-aisle store (where I know where absolutely NOTHING is located) was overwhelming after a long day at work and two crazy kiddos begging for everything they passed during the two hour shopping trip. There has to be a better way...
Introducing Kroger ClickList!
ClickList is a service offered by Kroger that allows customers to shop online for more than 40,000 items, including meat and produce, and pick up the order at their local Kroger store. After adding items to an online grocery cart, the shopper confirms the order and reserves a pickup time and date, then pulls up to the ClickList pickup area where an associate comes out to load the order into the vehicle and collect coupons and payment (debit/credit cards only). The service fee is waived for the first three orders. After that, Kroger charges a flat fee of $4.95 per order (no minimum order).
I never thought I would use online ordering for groceries. That's something rich people or lazy people would do. I'm so frugal I can make a penny squeal, so paying a fee for someone else to do my shopping wasn't something that crossed my mind, but after buying "big" groceries just one time in the new store, I thought, hmmm...maybe this ClickList is worth checking out.
So, I turned to social media and made a simple statement: Pros and cons of Kroger ClickList. Go!
And the discussion began.
After reading the overwhelmingly positive comments from my friends and colleagues, I decided to give ClickList a try. I signed in to my kroger.com account and found the ClickList page to be very user friendly. Since I use a Kroger card every time I shop, everything I usually purchase was already in my virtual shopping list. I clicked on the items I was running low on, then used the search bar to look for other items I don't buy every week. It was super easy. I was able to order from home after the kids were asleep and pick my order up the next day without ever having to leave my vehicle. The pickup process took six minutes. AMAZING!!!
The PRO's of ClickList from my experience:
I saved money. I didn't have to take my two children in the store who constantly badger me for junk snacks (yes, there are plenty of gluten-free junk snacks). There was no impulse shopping. I only bought what was on my list. I didn't have the temptation to stop by the in-store Starbucks, or pick up the latest and greatest products that I don't really need. They do allow the use of coupons, both digital from the Kroger website, as well as paper coupons, so no worries there. AND I earned Kroger fuel points for every dollar spent, so I will save on gas, too!
I saved time. I didn't have to walk up and down all 63 aisles to find what I needed in a gigantic new store, then stand in line behind the person who has $748 worth of groceries and $200 worth of coupons. Using ClickList saved me about two hours of time that I was able to use doing something else. It seriously only took six minutes.
I saved my sanity. When grocery shopping with two kids after a long day of work, it is frustrating to tell them no every time they ask for something. I usually have one nerve left by that time of day and they're on it. This new service took away that stress. I also didn't have to abandon my full grocery cart to take someone to the restroom on the opposite side of the world.
I helped the local economy. Most online shopping takes away jobs as local businesses close or reduce their workforce when customers choose the virtual shopping cart. The convenience of shopping online at ClickList actually added dozens of new jobs to my local Kroger Marketplace. Although I placed my order online, employees of the local store had to push the cart up and down the aisles to pull my order and I actually picked it up at the local store. This new service required Kroger to add many new associates who select groceries and deliver them to customers' vehicles. The service didn't take work away from stockers, cashiers or baggers who really need their jobs. The leader of a ministry program supported by my church told me that a couple of single mothers who have children in the program were hired by Kroger to fill ClickList associate positions. Living in Mississippi, the poorest state in the country, I am always excited to support businesses that bring jobs to the community. This particular Kroger Marketplace added 200 jobs to the local economy.
CON's of using ClickList from my experience
Kroger doesn't send anyone home with me to cook the groceries I bought, LOL. You're on your own with that. If you want things like rotisserie chicken or sushi (probably not gluten free--just giving an example), you have to go inside the store to purchase those items.
I can't help people with their gluten free shopping if I'm not inside the store. Seriously, I've made some great friends on the gluten-free aisle! It is nice to exchange opinions about products and make suggestions to people newly diagnosed with celiac or autoimmune disease. I also have been able to help shoppers who aren't gluten free, but are trying to accommodate the medically required diet of a dinner guest. I'm able to share how to prevent cross contamination, and save people from buying products that are labeled gluten free, but that we've had bad experiences with (i.e. Cheerios).
Substitutions could be dangerous for people with celiac disease or food allergies. Some items or sizes may be out of stock and the ClickList selector may substitute those products; however, you do have the ability to click "No Substitutions" for items, so if they don't have the item in stock, it will be taken off your order. I ordered a specific candy with instructions for no substitutions. The ClickList associate did substitute the product for the store brand, but they didn't charge me for it. Luckily, this product was also gluten free and I didn't have to pay for it, but I am very careful to not bring products into my home that may contain gluten. I don't want my son to think these products are okay or cause accidental cross contamination.
There's no Clearance Bin on ClickList. I love a bargain! Our store has only been open for a couple of weeks, so there is no clearance bin yet. I thoroughly enjoy finding great deals on gluten free treats that I don't usually buy because they're way too expensive. When I find cookies, cereals and baking mixes at the discounted price, I stock up. I can't dig through the clearance items if I'm ordering online. Many times, it is well worth the time to go into the store to find these treasures!
I'm not sure if this is a pro or a con, but I seemed kind of lost and didn't know what to do with the time I saved by using ClickList. I left work, picked up my ClickList order and had everything put away and dinner in the oven by 6pm. While I could've done something more productive with my time, we binge watched a new show on Netflix with the time I would've spent at the store. I don't ever have time for that!
Will I use ClickList again? ABSOLUTELY!!
I had a great experience with the entire process. My order was correct. Nothing was broken or missing. Everything was the correct temperature (frozen stuff was still frozen, refrigerated items were cold, etc.). This online service offers a convenient new way to shop. Not only will it help busy working moms like myself, but it will also help stay-at-home mommies with cranky babies or multiple children, elderly customers who don't have the stamina to walk around the whole store and load their own groceries into the car, husbands who don't follow shopping instructions (wives can order online and have husbands pick up on their way home from work), or for anyone who needs to save time.
ClickList gets the GFree Genius Seal of Approval!!
How was your ClickList experience? Share in the comments. While you're here, be sure to sign up for my e-newsletter!