With the number of things you can do online, it was only a matter of time before grocery shopping was added to the list. Web store giants Amazon have just launched their grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh; which for now only serves Seattle, USA but hopes to expand throughout the country. Fortunately for Klang Valley residents, many good Malaysian online grocery stores have sprouted to serve you online.
In this guide, RinggitPlus takes a good look at grocery shopping online; how it works, the pros and cons and, most importantly, how it affects your wallet.
Shopping online basics
Trudging through a wet market or a crowded shopping mall on a weekend just doesn’t seem a nice way to spend what little free time working urbanites have. Now you can avoid all that with a simple click.
For ease of comparison, we’ve chosen three with the best variety of local and imported; premium and regular priced items.
Shopping is easy. Items are organised according to category on all three sites but you can do it the quick way by just clicking the search bar and entering a keyword. Presto doesn’t require you to have an account by signing up will help store your previous order information. Tesco and Redtick require you to open an account.
Just like any other online shopping experience: add what you want to your account and checkout!
Delivery areas and timing
Not all stores deliver everywhere. For now, these stores deliver to Klang Valley/Kuala Lumpur areas only. There is usually a link on the page for you to check delivery zones:
1. Tesco Online’s delivery area checker:
2. Presto Online’s delivery area and fees:
3. RedTick Online’s delivery
Delivery prices vary for each store. Tesco starts at a flat RM10. Presto is RM8 for orders below RM100 and free for those above RM100. Redtick has a range: RM5 for orders RM100-200; RM10 for orders RM50 – RM100; RM15 for orders <50, and free on orders above RM200.
Tesco requires you to book a delivery slot. You can book slots up to three weeks in advance with Tesco and up to 7 days in advance with Presto.
Presto delivery slots are hourly from 10am to 10pm and you may select the delivery time of your choice upon checkout. RedTick has limited delivery slots (6 a day) every two hours from 10 am to 10pm.
Tesco online only accepts credit (Visa and Mastercard – American Express not accepted at present) or debit card payment at the moment. Your friendly delivery man will carry with him a portable credit card reader so you only make payment once you’ve inspected the goods and have agreed to accept the delivery. This is because, due to stock changes, you might receive a substituted item if the actual item you ordered isn’t in stock.
Presto, accepts cash and credit cards (all major credit cards) also upon delivery. There is also an option to pay at online checkout via Paypal. RedTick also offers cash or credit on delivery or online payment via MolPay.
From a pure numbers point of view
Taking the same three online stores we mentioned in part one; here’s how the numbers add up when compared to physical stores. Tesco is a low price leader hypermarket and Jaya Grocer is considered to most as an upmarket store catering to a wealthier set.
|Items||Jaya Grocer (physical store)||Tesco (physical store)||Tesco (Online)||RedTick (Online)||Presto (Online)|
|Carton of 30 eggs||RM10.99||RM10.85 (Grade A)||RM10.85
|RM11.90 (Grade not stated)||RM15.60 (N/A in carton of 30. Only premium eggs in cartons of 10: RM5.20ea)|
|Rice 10kg (Local)||RM25.90||RM23.95||RM23.95||RM39.90||RM26|
|Cooking oil 5kg||RM14.70||RM14.70||RM14.70||RM14.70||RM14.70|
|Onions (1kg)||RM2.39||RM1.29||RM1.29||RM4 (2 packs. Pre-packed, 500gms each pack)||RM3.20 (pre-packed 800g)|
|Potatoes (1kg)||RM3.59||RM1.99||RM1.99||RM5 (2 packs. Pre-packed, 500gms each pack)||RM3.99|
|Mustard leaves (Sawi) (1kg)||RM3.90||RM3.70||RM3.70||RM8.70 (900g)||RM6 (900g)|
|Chinese Broccoli (Kailan) (1kg)||RM7.50||RM9.59||RM9.59||RM15||RM11.20|
|Chicken thigh (1kg)||RM9.90||RM6.99||RM6.99||RM12.25||N/A|
|Black Pomfret Fish (Bawal) (1kg)||RM30||RM12.99||RM12.99||RM23.60 (700gm)||RM35.50|
|Salt (1kg)||RM0.80||RM2 (900g)||RM1.30 (900g)||RM1.50||RM7.50 (imported)|
|Floor cleaner (2L)||RM11.45||RM11.45||RM11.99||RM13.49||RM11.90|
|Laundry Detergent (Powder 2.5KG)||RM9.60||RM7.59||RM7.59||RM10.75||RM9.50|
|Delivery/ Parking charges||Parking RM2 per entry on weekends, RM2 per hour on weekdays||Free (1st 2 hours with RM30 minimum spend)||RM10 (cost will vary depending on number of items purchased) Delivery area is limited.||Free (order above RM100)||RM5 (orders RM100-200)|
*All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices subject to change due to store promotions and other internal factors.
With the exception of Tesco Online, it does appear that shopping online can be expensive choice. The majority of online sites stock premium and imported items which is indicative of the target market being upper income groups and expats. Tesco promises that all prices online will match that of physical Tesco stores. Promotions and prices at Tesco can change frequently, so unless you’ve compared both the site and the physical store on the same day; you may see small discrepancies in prices.
The pros and cons of buying online
If you’re the kind who’s concerned with more than just the ringgit value, there are some other considerations. Here is a checklist of pros and cons to shopping online:
- Convenient. This definitely tops the list as it’s as easy as clicking a button. No more fighting with other shoppers for parking and at cashier lines.
- Time saving. If you’ve got a hectic schedule, this is the way for you. It also frees up a lot more time on your weekends for you to do things you care about.
- Great for budgeting. Shopping online is one way to ensure you stick to your budget. Without the temptation of smells and sights at a mall that urges you to stray from your shopping list; you’ll simply buy what’s on your list.
- Great for those who aren’t mobile. If you are handicapped or rely on public transport, shopping for large quantities of goods can be challenging. Buying online saves the trouble of lugging around large amounts of groceries. It’s delivered to your door.
- Unable to inspect goods. Although many offer the opportunity to turn away goods that aren’t to your satisfaction, you will then either have to wait for a new delivery or go without until you head to the store.
- No current stock update. Many online grocery stores don’t update as often as products are constantly being brought in and sold. This makes it nigh impossible to determine if the item you want is in stock or if you will be given a replacement.
- Limited delivery areas and times. You may not always get the time slot you want and if you have a hectic schedule, you may not have hours to spare rushing home to wait for the delivery man at a non-peak time. Sometimes, it is a lot easier to just pop into a store.
- Not worthwhile for small purchases. A full cart like the one above makes the RM8-RM15 delivery fee and planning of delivery times negligible. But if you are a single person household; you may not buy so much and paying RM10 for a delivery of a few items plus the hassle of planning out delivery times may not be worth it.
Online grocery shopping is definitely going to be more popular in days to come. It’s not hard to see why. The convenience it offers is quite unparalleled. But for those of you who still prefer taking a good look (and squeeze, yes we know you do it!) at your produce before buying – nothing will beat heading down for some good old fashioned aisle hopping.
Nb: The list of online stores above were chosen based on the wide variety of products available. Smaller, niche online shopping sites are also available. Check out MatRuncit and YouBeli for limited sundry items; FoodWorld for gourmet fresh meat and seafood; or DoorStep for office pantry supplies.