Not every business has collapsed under the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, businesses with delivery and pickup options are absolutely thriving as people continue to stay indoors and socially distance themselves.
The fact that these businesses are enduring the economic fallout of the pandemic makes sense if you think about it. Everybody needs food, and as long as there are ways for people to get it that minimize social interactions, you can bet on money being made. Tap or click here to see the safest ways to shop for groceries online and in-person.
Many stores have taken their grocery operations online during the pandemic in order to make it easier for customers to shop from home. And now, Target is joining the ranks of retailers like Amazon and Walmart with new online options for grocery pickup and delivery. Here’s what they’re offering, as well as how each service stacks up against the rest.
Target expands online shopping to include grocery pickup and delivery
In a new press release published August 20, Target announced that it would be taking its new grocery pickup service nationwide after successfully testing it in Midwest markets.
At this point in time, the service is now available in 85% of all U.S. locations. All remaining stores will soon have the service available as well as the retailer continues to improve its system.
Here’s a little background on why this is such a big deal: Target previously offered grocery delivery options through its partner Shipt, as well as online order pickup and same-day curbside service for drive-up customers. But due to issues storing cold goods, it had not been able to offer grocery pickup that would address customer demand.
But all that has changed thanks to internal remodels and expansions inside Target stores nationwide. Now, thanks to additional refrigerators and freezers, Target can hang on to your frozen food while it waits for you to arrive.
Not all food Target offers is available as this program officially launches, however. Right now, only 750 of the most popular fresh and frozen items are available alongside the company’s myriad of non-perishable items.
And, of course, you can still place orders for non-grocery items while you shop. In a nutshell, you can do a full Target run just using the app on your phone now.
Which grocery shopping option is the best?
Target’s options are now a good deal more flexible than they used to be, but how does the company stack up against rivals like Walmart, Amazon and services like Doordash or Instacart?
Well, the answer depends mostly on what stores are close to where you live, what items you’re looking for and whether or not you want to pick up your groceries yourself. Here’s a quick rundown of each of the most popular services and what they offer to grocery shoppers:
Walmart Grocery lets you order groceries online from a nearby Walmart or Walmart Neighborhood Market. Normally, you must meet a $35 minimum in your order to qualify for the service.
If you don’t like the minimum order amount, you have access to a 15-day free trial for an unlimited delivery subscription service that costs $12.95 per month or $98 annually afterward. If you choose to subscribe, you don’t need to meet the $35 order minimum.
Before you start an order, choose your delivery time. Earlier and expedited times are typically more costly, and there are same-day and next-day options available for you to take advantage of.
Target now has hundreds of grocery items available as part of its same-day delivery and curbside pick-up services. You can access the service via Target.com or the Target app on your mobile platform of choice.
A trial for same-day delivery is free for four weeks, but the service eventually costs $99 for a year of unlimited orders of $35 or more. Without a subscription, each same-day order has a $9.99 surcharge added on top of it.
To shop online, all you need to do is create your order at Target.com or in the app from Google Play or Apple’s App Store and select Same Day Delivery or pickup during checkout. It’s simple as can be.
Some regions get special perks for having Amazon distribution centers or Whole Foods stores nearby. If your area is supported, Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Student members get same-day deliveries for no extra charge. A $35 minimum order does apply, however. If your area isn’t supported, a $50 order minimum is required.
Non-Prime members with valid SNAP EBT cards in participating states can also request a special invitation to Amazon Fresh. Delivery fees will depend on what items are ordered, however.
To see if you qualify, check out the Amazon Fresh SNAP page.
Instacart is available online via the platform’s official website or by downloading the free app for Apple or Android. Unlike the options above, Instacart lets you have dedicated shoppers visit the following stores for you and delivers the goods to your door:
- Smart & Final
- CVS Pharmacy
- Sam’s Club
- Superior Grocers
- Foods Co.
- Food Maxx
Prices will vary depending on each store, but your first delivery with the service is always free. Full subscriptions cost $9.99 per month or $99 per year.
All orders must meet a $10 minimum, and without a subscription, delivery fees range from $3.99 to $7.99. With a subscription, all you need is to spend $35 minimum for free same-day delivery.
The service was originally intended for users to order from nearby restaurants and convenience stores. But now, just like Target, Doordash has updated its services to meet the needs of modern-day shoppers with full-fledged grocery delivery.
Doordash has partnered with several different grocery and retail chains to make it easier to get your items without leaving your house. This includes major names like Smart & Final, Meijer and Fresh Thyme. Stores like Hy-Vee and Gristedes/D’Agnostino will also be added in the coming weeks.
But that’s not all, users can also purchase prepared meals from the following retailers:
- Big Y World Class Markets,
- Food City
- Village Supermarkets
- Save Mart
- Lucky California
Just like with Instacart, prices will vary depending on each store. Delivery fee charges range from $5 to $8 per order, but users can sign up for a DashPass subscription that features free delivery for orders $12 and above. The DashPass costs $9.99 per month.
Additionally, pickup options are also available with no extra fees if you order through the app and go pick up your goods yourself. Talk about flexible!
Safety tips for sanitary delivery
Even though people are starting to shop again, it’s important to keep these sanitary methods in mind. Even though we can’t see it, the coronavirus still hasn’t gone away just yet.
- Always wear gloves and keep disinfectant on-hand. Sanitize everything as you unpack your items, including the packaging.
- If you don’t have disinfectant and can’t find any in stores, 70% isopropyl alcohol works just fine. Moisten a paper towel with a small portion and use it as a wipe. Tap or click here to see what sanitizing products work best to kill the coronavirus.
- Throw away any packaging in outdoor bins or trash cans.
- Always wash produce in warm, soapy water.
For more information on how to properly handle your delivery packages, tap or click here.
As we move into the next phase of reopening after the pandemic, it will be interesting to see how many of these shopping options stick around. The world may be changed forever by COVID-19, but on the bright side, shopping will probably be easier than it ever was before.