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Grocery delivery services allow an individual to purchase and receive groceries without leaving their home. These services offer apps that experienced massive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which grocery delivery app is best depends on where a person lives, which stores they tend to purchase from, and their budget.
This article explains how grocery delivery apps work and lists some of the best apps available. We also provide information to help people decide whether a grocery delivery app is the right choice for them.
Grocery delivery apps allow users to select and order groceries directly through an app.
Most grocery delivery apps are subscription services, meaning users pay an annual or monthly fee in addition to the price of the groceries. Customers also have the option to tip delivery drivers.
Most apps also remember previously ordered grocery lists, making it easy to order the same items again. If an item a user orders is not available, the retailer may contact them about a substitution, select their own substitution, or remove the product from the list. The available options depend on the app and preferences that customers indicate.
Consumers can check food prices before they order. In most cases, there is also a delivery fee, although some apps waive these fees for large orders, new users, or subscribing members.
A wide range of popular grocers and big-box stores offer delivery through grocery apps. The specific grocers a person can access depend on the app they use and their location.
Some examples of stores that individuals can access through an app include:
- Food Lion
- Whole Foods
- Cub Foods
- Mollie Stone’s Markets
- Shop ‘n Save
Grocery delivery apps may also be beneficial for:
- people with physical disabilities that limit their ability to shop in a store
- people with weakened immune systems who wish to avoid going out in public during cold and flu season
- those with social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health conditions that may make shopping stressful or challenging
- individuals recovering from childbirth or surgery
- busy parents or caregivers
Some of the most popular grocery delivery apps are below.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
Shipt is a subscription service that offers its services via a website and an Apple and Android app. It is available primarily in the southeastern United States.
The stores a person can choose to shop in vary from city to city. However, they usually include a mix of grocers and other retailers, such as:
- CVS Pharmacy
Users select their chosen groceries, pick a delivery window — which can reportedly be within 1 hour of ordering — and provide instructions about substitutions. They then use their card details to prepay for the order.
After the purchase, Shipt may adjust the price with additional charges if the user adds products or by refunding money for any groceries that are out of stock.
Yearly subscriptions for Shipt cost $99. Alternatively, users can purchase single passes for $10. Delivery fees are $7 for orders under $35.
Amazon Fresh is available via its website and an Android and Apple app. The app offers food from the company’s local warehouses, meaning that if an item appears as in stock, it will almost certainly be available when a shopper is ready to pick them.
In most cases, a user can receive their order almost immediately. However, some items and regions have longer delivery timetables.
Delivery is usually free for 2-hour deliveries over $35, although 1-hour deliveries carry a fee. Users have the option to tip a driver, but this is not mandatory. To use Amazon Fresh, users need an Amazon Prime account.
Instacart offers access to the widest range of retailers across the country, but the specific grocers available vary greatly from area to area. Its app is available on Apple and Android devices.
Instacart’s first delivery is free for new users. After that, delivery fees start at $3.99, and no subscription is necessary.
Instacart places a hold on the user’s account after they order food, then releases it and charges the total cost of food after delivery.
Users can choose to tip the driver, but tipping is optional.
Peapod operates its own grocery store, as opposed to a delivery service that works in partnership with other retailers. It is available in a small number of cities and offers an app on Apple and Android devices.
The Peapod app updates its inventory in real-time, meaning selected groceries are less likely to be out of stock.
Peapod generally offers next-day delivery, but customers can access same-day delivery in some regions.
Walmart+ offers grocery delivery directly from its stores. While there is a small delivery fee, users can sign up for Delivery Unlimited for $13 a month or $98 a year and get unlimited grocery deliveries at no additional charge. Walmart+ requires a $35 minimum order to get free delivery. The fee does not include a tip for the driver.
Users can pick a time and date to schedule their deliveries, or for a $10 fee, they can choose express delivery and have their groceries delivered within 2 hours or less. Express deliveries do not require a minimum charge for orders.
Because Walmart stores update their own inventory, users generally report fewer out-of-stock items.
Dumpling works differently from the traditional grocery delivery model. Rather than contracting with a limited number of grocers, it works with personal shoppers. Users can choose a shopper who shops at a store they wish to use.
Dumpling offers its services through its website and Android and Apple apps.
Customers can develop a relationship with a shopper who knows their tastes, or they can simply pick the shopper with the highest review score each time they order.
Reviewers note that Dumpling allows them to develop relationships with shoppers building a personal shopping business. The app may therefore be an attractive option for consumers who are concerned about fair pay for delivery drivers.
Grocery delivery service apps charge a delivery or subscription fee that usually forms a fraction of the total delivery price. For many people, these time-saving services are worth the extra fee. Additionally, grocery delivery apps offer a safer alternative to in-store shopping for individuals with chronic health conditions.
However, grocery apps are little more than a needless expense for some people. Those with access to only a few grocers or who find their favorite items are frequently out of stock may benefit from in-person shopping. This will allow them to survey the entire store and get what they need.
While researching reviews of these services may also help, the only way to confirm if an app is worth using is to try it out. People on a limited budget may also wish to consider an app that features a free introductory delivery service.
Grocery delivery service apps are convenient for people who wish to avoid the grocery store and save time shopping for food.
Many grocery delivery apps are available to download on Apple and Android devices. Some also offer an option to shop through their websites.
To find the best grocery delivery app, people can consider the types of shops they wish to shop from, app subscription fees, and local delivery options. They can also compare prices between the different apps to find the best deal.