A Comparison of Woolworths' and Coles' Online Shopping Experiences for New Users
This week, Buckscoop has an exclusive voucher from Woolworths which gives you $15 off your first online shop plus free delivery too (on orders over $150). Simply apply the code "BUCKSCOOP15" during the checkout process to get your discount. In light of this, I thought it would make sense to do a review of how Woolworths and Coles stack up against each other in terms of their online shopping experiences for any of you who are new to buying your groceries online.
For instance, Woolies previously used to inflate the prices of their goods online with their justification being that it was needed to cover both delivery and service costs. The good news is though, that as of March 2015 they decided to ditch this discriminatory pricing behaviour towards online customers setting the cost of all products to be equal, no matter whether they were advertised online or in-store. As for Coles, on the other hand, customers could be paying between 3-7% more for products simply due the convenience offered by shopping online. So let's continue now to explore the differences between Woolworths and Coles to see how they compare.
The two most significant benefits I have personally found from online grocery shopping, is (1) the time saved through having the ability to reuse a previous shopping list rather than having to re-select all my regular items from scratch, as well as (2) how online shopping eliminates the number of impulse buys that I normally make in-store which helped lower my grocery bills substantially over time.
Even if you're somebody whose less prone to impulse than I am, there are still a number of reasons why doing your grocery shopping online makes sense. So let's move on to highlighting the key aspects of both Woolies' and Coles' online shopping experiences to see how they stack up against each other.
Coles calculate their delivery fees based on the time of day that you want to have your shopping delivered, plus the location of the delivery. The cost of delivery ranges between $8 - $13. If you have a Coles MasterCard, however, and purchase over $100 of goods then they will provide delivery for free.
Woolworths do things slightly differently by calculating their delivery fees based on the value of your order. Their prices are stated in the following table:
|Up to $149||
|$150 - $199||
|$200 - $249||
|$250 - $299||
|$300 and over||
If you are a first time online shopper then by using the exclusive Buckscoop Woolworths online voucher, you will get $15 off plus free delivery which can give you a total saving of $26 off your first order if you keep it to under $150.
Winner: Woolworths win because its highest possible delivery price is still $2 lower than Coles and you can control how much you pay for delivery based on the value of your order. Coles determine the cost for you thus reducing your level of control.
MINIMUM ORDER AMOUNTS
Coles require a minimum order amount of $50, which excludes delivery fees on top.
Woolworths have a lower minimum order value of $30, also excluding delivery fees.
Winner: Woolworths, because sometimes we only need to order food for one and that extra $20 can make the difference between driving to the store and saving money ordering online.
Delivery is available 7 days a week and delivery slots are available in 2-hour blocks. The times that Coles offer for delivery are:
- Monday – Friday: 6am – 10pm
- Saturday: 7am – 10pm
- Sunday: 8am – 2pm
Deliveries are available with Woolworths 7 days a week and are available in 3-hour slots. The supermarket’s delivery hours are:
- Monday – Saturday: 6am – 10pm
- Sunday: 8am – 3pm
Winner: Coles, as the shorter delivery slots means you can potentially save a whole extra hour of having to wait around for your groceries to arrive.
DELIVERY CUT OFF TIMES
A cut off time is the last point in time that you have to either organise, cancel or change an order without incurring additional costs. The cut off for Coles is midday for deliveries between 6am – 2pm the following day, and before 1am for deliveries between 2pm and 10pm on the same day.
The Woolworths delivery cut offs are as follows:
- AM delivery cut off is 6pm the evening before
- PM delivery cut off is 11pm the evening before
For weekend deliveries:
- Sunday deliveries in VIC, QLD, TAS, SA, NT and WA: Saturday 3pm
- Sunday deliveries in NSW: Saturday 5pm
Winner: Coles provider a later cut off time compared to Woolies, giving customers a few extra hours to make changes and cancellations if they really need to.
PRODUCTS OUT OF STOCK
Both supermarkets provide the customer with the option to accept or decline substitute products if their desired item is not available at the time of filling their order. If you select ‘No’ then your products will be excluded from the delivery. However, if you choose ‘Yes’ then the following approaches apply:
Coles wherever necessary will try to deliver your desired products, however when unavailable a substitute product of equal or higher value will be sent in its place at the price of the cheaper of the two products.
If your desired product isn’t available, Woolworths Online will try to substitute your product with a similar item of equal or higher value, but customers will only be charged the price of the originally requested product. If no equivalents are available, a lower value product will be selected as a last resort and you will only pay the cheaper price.
Winner: Woolworths are the winners on this one in my eyes, because they go the extra mile in still trying to find you a substitute even if an equivalent product isn't available.
DELIVERY PROCEDURE IF YOU ARE UNAVAILABLE
Coles under no circumstances will deliver your shopping if you are unable to receive it. There are no options to have it left without you being present. If you miss a delivery, Coles may also charge a $30 cancellation fee and potentially add an additional delivery fee too.
Woolworths recommend that a customer is at home to receive their goods, however if you have left instructions on where to leave the goods if you are not home then they become your responsibility. If you miss a delivery, Woolworths will try to call you, but if they cannot contact you then they will not deliver the goods and you may be charged for re-delivery fees plus charged for any perishable food.
Winner: Woolworths win this one because of the additional flexibility they offer if, for whatever reason, you physically cannot get to the house on time (e.g. stuck in traffic or having to deal with some other emergency). Then at least you have the option of having your shopping left for you at a neighbours and avoiding any penalty fees as well.
Coles supermarkets accept online payments via credit card and accept the following: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Coles Group Card and Coles Group Source. Customers may also pay delivery drivers directly via the company’s mobile EFTPOS unit, using either a debit or credit card.
Woolworths Online accepts home delivery payments via both credit and debit cards, accepting the following card types: MasterCard, VISA, American Express and gift cards. All payments must be made online before delivery is made.
Winner: Even though I don't personally choose to pay upon delivery for goods I've ordered online, Coles are the winner in this instance for giving customers the wider choice of options (i.e. pay either before or after delivery is made).
In summary, it looks as though Woolworths come out on top in terms of the number of wins they've had over Coles based on my review. Now that you've got a good insight into what to consider if you're looking to give your first online grocery shop a go, it's time to head over the to the vouchers page to make use of the $15 off discount plus free delivery offer at Woolworths.
TOPICS: Food, Booze and Groceries