The Prolific Entrepreneur’s E-Grocery Shopping Guide

Posted: July 14, 2013 in Guides
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Useful resources for online grocery shopping for the busy Entrepeneur

One of most common hard skills an entrepreneur can accrue without much difficulty is cooking. This would greatly reduce basal cash outflow by cutting down on non-client meal costs (well it sucks if you have to entertain ALL the time like in b2b functions) and the greatest way to facilitate this is a simple trip to your local supermarket. But if you, like me, are using a SOHO, I encourage you to do your grocery shopping online. This has apparently kicked in China, where most tier-one city dwellers have resorted to ordering their groceries via the internet to enhance the quality of life through saving time and fighting cashier queues and parking costs. Seeing as how the denizens of Shanghai and Beijing have their love affair with 一号店 / Yi Hao Dian (rather suave move by Walmart to acquire them recently by the way) – I surmised emulating this behavior would set me and my dear readers ahead of the curve. The latter company has seen immense growth, specifically 19,218% over the last 3 years alone. I recommend you take the time to read the interview with founder Gang Yu at Deloitte.

Incidentally, I recently had the privilege to sit through Toby desforges’ talk at a Regus Connect event held in Wisma Regus (yes I’m plugging them because I’m a member as well as a fan of their rather empowering service, but more on this another time) and he spoke about the rising adoption on e-tailing (electronic/online retailing) particularly from e-grocers  – I recommend following his linkedin profile I provided and networking with him; he’s a veritable authority on the retail industry and gave very good insights into how Retail is still the biggest business on earth – validating my involvement with web based POS ‘s3pos’ (Simple Solutions Global: Please support me by liking the page and signing up to the mailing list so I can invite you to the SE Asia launch as soon as the product is finally translated in full)

If you are really into considering an e-grocer business, this PDF is an academic piece on the strategies and challenges of Internet Grocery retailing Logistics (not light reading, but if you are on my blog – you should not be thwarted with a short attention span or a lack of vocabulary anyway)

Finally, I’m done with my ramble, so here’s some great online resources (I’m not associated to any of them, these are only my personal recommendations.)

For the local Singapore Entrepeneur / start-up founder:

Redmart has attracted a lot of my attention (in fact I heard it via word of mouth rather than by research which means business traction)  – but it seems they only retail dry goods and not fresh meat and vegetables. Delivery is free with a $75 order.  This is where we get to my other recommendation,

The Butcher – Fantastic array of fresh beef, chicken and pork. The side bar on the right provides rather interesting promotions too.  But I was most impressed by the BBQ packs which have a tremendous value. Most items have an add-on of around 0.50 SGD for various kinds of Marinade – even more time saving than expected J – An order of $100 gets you free delivery, $10 otherwise. (great domain by the way) by the Kamaka group has a no frills interface and you can have fresh vegetables alongside household and even babycare products.

Supernature by the COMO group has organic vegetables which may be cost-efficient if you are ordering for a family or shared between room mates.

GoshopEasy has a good selection and an Indian corner too, but the delivery might be on the exorbitant side with extra charges and a $150 minimum spend to negate the bulk of it. However you can do orders directly via sms and email which does lend a bit more personalized and convenient access than going through the rigours of the ecommerce platform.

TSW – The supplements warehouse. Special mention for this supplement store though it lies outside the scope of groceries, but you can get some decent vitamins and general health supplies. I personally have ordered some fitness supplements such as protein from them, they stock rather good brands like BSN, Muscletech etc. The delivery came promptly without a hitch – most of their items were a fraction of the price in GNC (Even with my birthday month discount!) Delivery is free with a $100 purchase.

Naturally if there are other good recommendations (aside from the obvious platforms for the incumbent supermarkets) – would appreciate comments so I can keep this article updated

For our International friends:

I’ve transplanted this list from its original SMARTLIFE article for your reference and enjoyment-

U.S. Nationwide — General

Netgrocer Grocery — This well-known Internet retailer offers a full range of non-perishable food items, attractive discounts, free home delivery, and a subscription program that gives you a 15% discount on items delivered at regular intervals. (Coupon Codes) — Buy non-perishable items in bulk or in regular-sized quantities with this online grocer that serves all 48 contiguous states. — Serves the greater Detroit area with a full line of grocery products, but also delivers non-frozen items throughout the country. — Operating over 180 supercenters throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, this superstore offers delivery of non-perishable grocery items throughout the U.S. (minimum order is $50) and in-store pickup of groceries ordered online at local stores. — Carries major brand-name products, specialty brands, and hard-to-find regional and seasonal products. Offers bulk-purchase discounts. — Offers general grocery items, kosher items, and over 1,500 natural and organic items. Delivers to your home or next vacation destination and even to APO / FPO military zip codes. — Ships general and hard-to-find non-perishable groceries throughout the continental U.S. Save yourself 10% on orders of $50 or more.

U.S. Regional — General — For residents of DE, PA, and NJ, this brick-and-mortar and virtual grocery store offers either home delivery or in-store pickup of your groceries. — Pick up your groceries ordered online at a nearby store for $5.95 or have them delivered to your home for $12.95. Serves eight West Coast areas.

Amazon Fresh — Serving the greater Seattle area, this online market offers thousands of fresh food, farm-fresh, and bakery items delivered to you in temperature-controlled containers to ensure freshness and at convenient times of the day — pre-dawn, daytime, and same-day. — Delivers full-range of groceries to residents in Manhattan and Hudson County, NJ. Also ships non-perishable items to all 50 states — delivery is free for orders of $100 or more. — Full-service grocer, specializing in beef, pork, and seafood. Delivers to residents in the Southwest part of the U.S. — Delivers farm-fresh grocery items to areas of California. — This “Ultimate Gourmet Market” offers products like fine Caspian Caviar plus a large selection of upscale seafood items. Delivers exclusive gourmet foods to residents of NYC and the Hamptons. — Delivers grocery items from physical retail stores to NYC residents. Offers same-day delivery and a $6.99 fee on orders of $50 or more. — Online food market servicing Ohio. — Delivers fresh-food items throughout the greater NYC area and offers an “Unlimited Delivery Pass” option that allows customers to pay a two-month, six-month, or one-year fee for unlimited deliveries over that period of time. (Coupon Codes) — Online supermarket delivers full-line of grocery items to residents in Florida. — Serves the Twin Cities region, offering more than 10,000 grocery items and a Loyalty Program that gives you $10 worth of groceries for every $500 you spend.

HomeShop — Delivers Kroger brands exclusively and thousands of other grocery items to several areas throughout Colorado. Also offers extra savings with SoopersCard account program. — Delivers thousands of grocery items as well as DVDs within one-hour to residents of the greater Manhattan area. First-time customers receive a 10% discount plus free “dinner-and-movie” delivery using the promo code MAXD. — Sources food items ordered online from local farmers and producers. Services select areas in New York and Connecticut. — Offers hundreds of grocery items at reasonable prices to college students in New York and Connecticut. Delivery is free. — Delivers full range of groceries to several East Coast areas, parts of Chicago, and Wisconsin. Maintains history of your previously purchased grocery items for quicker shopping. (Coupon Codes) — Louisiana-based store offers in-store and online shopping for regional staples and favorites. — A full-line grocery store delivering to multiple zip codes in the greater Boston area. Accepts all valid manufacturers’ coupons and doubles coupons with a face value of $.99 or less. (Coupon Codes) — This well-known supermarket chain, servicing AZ, CA, MD, OR, VA, WA, and D.C, delivers groceries to your home from one of its physical retail stores. (Coupon Codes) — Offers more than 15,000 grocery items to residents in parts of Missouri and Illinois. Maintains your shopping history. — Services Minneapolis area. Packs your groceries securely to ensure freshness and for convenient home drop-off in case you’re not around. — Offering a selection of over 5,800 grocery items, this grocer delivers goods from Magruder’s to residents in Washington D.C. Donates a fraction of all proceeds to the teen charity, ULTRA Teen Choice. — New online service based in NYC routes your order of beer, wine, cigarettes, groceries, and other convenience items to a nearby store for faster delivery. — Servicing NYC and Westchester and Southwest Fairfield counties, this virtual grocery warehouse offers over 1,000 grocery items at a savings of 30-60% in comparison to local supermarkets. Receive free delivery each time you refer a friend. — Servicing West Hollywood and Santa Monica, this full-line grocer delivers to your home or business in less than 30 minutes for only $3.99. Orders over $100 are delivered for free.

International — Visiting or living in another country? This grocer delivers hundreds of your favorite American food items to more 35 countries worldwide. — Offers home or postal delivery of fresh foods, kitchen equipment, cookbooks, and various gourmet gift baskets to customers in the U.K. — Serves the Western Australia region with a full selection of organic groceries, including “green” body care essentials and pre-packaged boxes of organic fruits and vegetables. — Servicing the Toronto area, this online grocer delivers fresh and non-perishable items from Longo’s chain of retail stores directly to your home or office. Satisfaction is 100% guaranteed! Also gives $5 off for first-time customers. (I’m moving to Toronto!) — Specializing in big bulky deliveries, this virtual grocery warehouse serves the Toronto area. — A winner of the “2008 Online Green Awards,” this organic foods specialist delivers “green” goodies to residents in the U.K. Matches standard retail prices on all identical, branded products offered by its online rival, — Offers a full selection grocery items backed with a 100% guarantee, weekly specials, and same-day delivery service to residents of Western Canada. — Delivers to parts of Vancouver, British Columbia. — Canadian-based grocer that supports eco-friendly farming practices and delivers organic grocery items to parts of Calgary and Vancouver. — Prominent U.K. grocery store offering home delivery service; exclusive discounts available to Tesco Club Card members. — Delivers to groceries to Tunisian expats living abroad in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and other locations. — U.K.-based online supermarket offering fine wines, gourmet items, monthly bargains, and late-night deliveries to accommodate busy professionals. — Online grocery delivery service to home or office in Singapore. — Online Zimbabwe supermarket delivering anywhere in Zimbabwe.

Multi-Cultural — Latino grocery store delivering imported food items from Spain and Latin America throughout the U.S. — This San Francisco-based grocer offers a full range of Asian food and supplies for delivery to customers in the U.S. via FedEx or USPS. Two-day air delivery is available for frozen foods. — Online specialty store offers a wide variety of Dutch products, including regional cheeses, meats, and desserts for delivery to U.S. customers. Only orders of $30 or more are accepted. — Connecting with various ethnic food providers from all over the world, this online store delivers over 6,000 products to customers in the U.S. WARNING: several readers have claimed issues with ordering from this online grocer, ranging from outright scam to non-responsiveness to faulty orders. — Offers various ethnic food items for delivery — Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Greek. — Delivers more than a dozen ethnic food items — including Korean, Turkish, Indian, Japanese, and Vietnamese — to U.S. customers. — Delivers non-perishable Greek food items and cookware. — Delivers fresh Indian foods and spices to customers within the U.S. Orders over $80 receive free shipping and a free package of Maggi Noodles! — First online Indonesian grocer delivers spices, fresh meats, prepared foods, natural medicines, and even calling cards to all U.S. states for a flat fee, except Hawaii and Alaska. — Delivers spices, herbs, sweets, coffee, tea, and healthy snacks, which are imported from all over the world. — Online supermarket offering variety of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese food products. — Los Angeles online grocer delivers Korean and other Asian food items to customers in the U.S and elsewhere. — This bilingual, San Diego-based online grocery store is the largest of its kind — specializes in more than 1,500 authentic Mexican foods available for delivery in U.S. and Canada via UPS and USPS. — Delivers Polish food items, including rye bread, kielbasa (sausage), pierogi (filled dumplings), and golambki (stuffed cabbage rolls). Hmm…yummy. — Purchase all types of Portuguese food online — salt cod, presunto (Portuguese cured ham), classic sausage chourio, and other Portuguese staples. — Offers classic Russian cuisine and food items for home delivery to all U.S. states, except Hawaii and Alaska. — NYC-based online grocer delivers Russian and European food products. — Offers full line of Indian groceries for delivery in the U.S. Also offers 5% discount on orders over $100 and 12% discount on orders over $200. — Largest Greek specialty retail store in North America delivers Greek food items to your door.

Organic — This Pennsylvania-based, family-operated store delivers organic food items to locations in nine different states. — Offers organic groceries and health products for delivery in the U.S. and Canada. (Coupon Codes) — Specializes in organic food items, delivering to residents in central Texas. — Offers a huge selection of certified organic foods to residents in NYC, New York, and New Jersey. — Locally-owned and family-run, this organic grocer services the San Francisco area. First-time customers receive $10 off their first order. — Delivers 100% certified organic groceries to customers in NJ, PA, DE, and MD. — Servicing NYC and New Jersey areas, this grocer offers various organic produce and groceries and a weekly “value box” of seasonal fruits and vegetables. New customers are required to pay a one-time, lifetime membership fee of $25.

Specialty — Oregon company offering seafood straight from the waters of Alaska — Alaskan crab (King, Dungeness, and Opilio), wild salmon (Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye), and plenty others. — Delivers assortment of beef, USDA prime steaks, chicken, pork, seafood, appetizers, and other food items. — Supplier to over 400 of the top restaurants in New York and New Jersey, this company offers a selection of whole fish, fillets, shellfish, smoked fish, caviars, and more. — Offers variety of kosher food, kosher meat, and kosher dairy for delivery in the U.S. — Delivers baby foods and other baby products (e.g., diapers and toys) to your home or vacation destination worldwide. — Ohio’s Christian-based grocer delivers pantry staples, candies, and other ever-day items in bulk quantities to your doorstep or makes them available for pickup if you live in the area. — Family-owned butcher shop located in Des Moines, Washington offers marinated meats, smoked meats, and fresh seafood. Fan favorites include Kalbi Beef Ribs and Candy Salmon. — Delivers food items in bulk — nuts, seeds, dried fruits, spices & herbs, beans, organic, snack mixes, grains & cereals, etc. — San Diego wholesale seafood company delivering sushi grade fish, shellfish, roe, sea urchin, live California lobster, live abalone, stone crab, scallops, shrimp, and more. Members gain access to discounts up to 20% along with other specials. — South Carolina seafood store offers over 30 kinds of fish as well as other seafood — shrimp, lobster, oysters, clams, mussels, crawfish, calamari, and a lot more. — Massachusetts seafood specialist offering Maine lobster, Alaskan king crab, oysters, clams, mussels, and more. Live lobsters delivered next day via FedEx. All orders come with double your money back guarantee. — Maine company delivering an assortment of fresh, gourmet seafood and steaks to your home or office overnight or 2-day via FedEx. — Specializes in gourmet food items — seafood, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and more. — Specializes in beef, steak, and other meat products delivered U.S. nationwide. — Offers world-wide postal delivery of hard-to-find products and goodies along with customized gift baskets and gift certificates. — Delivers specialty foods and gourmet items throughout the U.S. — overnight deliveries available for $9.95 on orders of $85 or more. Also offers monthly clubs for cheese, coffee, and other fine products that make great gifts. — Delivers dehydrated foods, freeze dried foods, and dry vegetables. — Offers baby food, infant formula, and other baby supplies delivered to your home. — Delivers premium steaks, USDA prime steaks, steakburgers, roasts, and other meat and seafood items.

LegalSeaFoods — Famous restaurant chain offers variety of fresh seafood online. — Delivers live lobsters, steaks, and more from Maine. — Fresh Maryland Blue Crabs and more delivered to your doorstep overnight. — Offers wide variety of premium steaks, red meats, and other gourmet foods for delivery. — Seattle’s world-famous fish market offers a variety of fish and seafood. Free delivery to residents in downtown Seattle. — Specializes in delivery of frozen-food items — seafood, fish, steaks, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, and vegetarian entrees. Serves all 48 continental U.S. states. — Old-fashioned California grocery store delivers fresh-cut meat, fresh seafood, and gourmet grocery items. — Delivers hard-to-find grocery items. — Personal grocery shopping and home delivery service that goes to local stores of your choice. Serves U.S., Canada, Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. (Check the website’s listings to see if your area is serviced.) — Family-owned, Missouri-based establishment ships specialty meats to all 50 states. Offers a variety of meat-based gift packs and a “Meat of the Month” club for less than $450 per year. Every order comes with a free meat stick! — Well-known NYC fish retailer offers wide selection of seafood online — whole fish, steaks, fillets, live Maine lobsters, nine types of oysters, shrimp, mussels, clams, caviar, and more. — Iowa-based store offers hard-to-find and non-traditional items that are unavailable in most conventional supermarkets. Also offers a free 8 oz. bottle of Sue Bee Honey with every order of $50 or more.

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