Shopping habits + the pandemic: Have you been ordering groceries online during lockdown?

We are wanting to find out about people’s recent experiences with ordering online from major supermarkets, particularly during a period of lockdown, and how the pandemic may have affected your shopping habits.

  • Have you recently changed your shopping habits due to the pandemic? (for example, switching from in-store to shopping online, or doing one weekly or monthly shop instead of daily?)
  • Which supermarkets have you ordered online from and how have you found the experience? Has it been a negative or positive experience, have you had any dealings with customer service etc)
  • How much have you been paying for delivery and how many delivery slots have been available in your area?
  • Have you used the contactless Click and Collect pick up option and what has your experience been like?
  • Have you tried one of the Premium Delivery services like Woolworths Delivery Unlimited or Coles Plus, or made use of services such as IGA’s partnership with UberEats/DoorDash, and what has your experience been like? Do you think it’s worth it to pay for these premium services?



No change, didn’t use such services before, still don’t.

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I order online every 1.5weeks. I have noticed instead of delivery being available the next day I need to order 3 days in advance. Fees are still the same, availability of items is improving as lockdown extends. With woolies I got a $4 delivery time slot this week. I now shop between deliveries at the local IGA versus the supermarket on my way to and from outings. I have used the partner delivery slot in the past the guy was really lovely, the delivery was an hour after my time slot


Thanks @SydGirl - a $4 time slot is much better than I’ve been able to manage in the inner west! I’m paying $15 each time at the moment. Can I ask roughly where you are located?

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Yikes, $4? I have never been able to get less than $10 from Woolies.

My shopping habits have changed, but I was intending to change them anyway, before the pandemic arrived, as I am becoming less mobile and supermarkets are becoming larger… so deliveries are a boon. I still need to go to the supermarket for a few things that I forget or that don’t last the distance between shops, but thats usually just bread and cat food (because his lordship suddenly decides yesterday’s tucker which was loved, is now unacceptable).

I’ve only used Woolies and Coles because thats whats available here. I find it easier to use the Woolies online portal than the Coles one, but I’m getting used to that one now, and the Coles service has improved, though the delivery drivers don’t seem to be as careful. Only at the beginning of the current lockdown (NSW) did I have issues getting a “good” slot. And its a bit annoying not to be able to get the fresh bread unless you order in a late timeslot. I can walk in and get it, but not if I order online. That applies to both W and C. Cost varies depending on spend and time. $15 at Woolies and down to $2 at Coles.

I used Click and Collect from Coles just once but found it to be a pest, because many people lined up for the only 3 available parking spots…. did not really do it for me.

Not using Premium delivery… pointless for a single with minimal storage options.

I’ve kept using home delivery even when not in lockdown and will continue to do so. I’ve decided that it is worth the fees to have someone else do the shopping for me, when I detest supermarket shopping entirely. Besides, my car is not going to last forever and when it dies, I will not have the funds to replace it.


Just this week big w online. They have it well set up order it online get sent an email once ready to pick up and i drove to the shopping centre and they came to my car its called pick up by boot. I found it very convenient friendly staff efficient. I would recommend it. Since in store shopping has ceased. I ordered it and within a, day it was, ready. I felt it was very good.


Did the order and pickup thing a couple of times, until Woolies pushed us from 1700 pickup to 2000 pickup, which in this town is danger zone for being in the CBD without air cover and sidearms … so we shop normally at times that are safe to be out and about …


I went from doing a larger shop weekly supplemented by too many smaller impulsive shops on the way home from work, to weekly Click and Collect most weeks. I’m too cheap to pay for delivery and it gets me out of the house for reasons other than allowable exercise duing lockdown/WFH.

The Woolies experience seems a bit slicker but both majors are fine, and haven’t yet had a problem with inappropriate substitution. A quick dash into the store is still required every other week to do a sodastream cylinder swap.

Upsides - much less impulse purchasing, minimal contact
Downsides - no access to markdowns, less range than in-store, need to plan ahead by a few days as C&C slots can be booked out just like delivery slots

I confess to doing a couple of in-store shops during Sydney’s current lockdown because I enjoy grocery shopping and couldn’t help myself…


Ohmyyyy! I have to go in store at time too, but under protest… its when I forget to order one or two items and can’t justify a bigger shop for delivery. I think $50 is the minimum spend to get delivery


We haven’t changed. Still shopping in person because we go to a shopping centre and visit the green grocer, Aldi, & finally Woolworths to pick up anything we missed elsewhere.

This way we can save quite a lot of money, plus we can pick up the ‘specials’. Can’t replicate this online.


Hi Pru I have certainly started ordering online more often as I do not have to front the crowds at the local supermarkets. I find the experience quick and easy and I usually spend less as I am not tempted by any of the “tricks” that the Supermarkets use to market their wares and get you to purchase on impulse.
Coles Plus gives me free delivery if I spend a certain amount as well as double Flybuy points and after checking I learned that I had over $200 worth of FREE groceries that I could receive all thanks to sharing my data with Flybuys!
I also learned that I could earn lots of extra Flybuys points by filling out Market Research surveys on the Flybuys Coles page, so I have been busy filling out lots of surveys earning lots of points and I have not paid a cent for my groceries for over 3 weeks now (our weekly spend is around $150 per week)
A good perk if you have the time!


Since the pandemic began last year I have done my major fortnightly shop at 8am on Sunday morning at my local IGA and fruit shop. Parking is a dream, there’s hardly anyone around and I’m home within half to three quarters of an hour.


I have converted to exclusively shopping online at Woolies over the past year. I used to do an in person shop weekly at Aldi, fortnightly at local green grocer and monthly at Woolworths.

We live in a suburb with multiple busy supermarkets. All have been Covid exposure sites at some time. I gave up on Aldi as found it too crowded. Tried out Click and collect at Woolworths which was fine. Then tried both Coles and Woolworths online. Settled on Woolworths as the app is easy to use and rarely unavailable products. I also buy fruit, veg and sourdough bread online weekly from a smaller company, Box Fresh. And wine from a another online company, Our cellar

I have subscribed to Delivery Unlimited because I shop every week and spend $100+ so the fee is worth it. I use the special deal for Seniors with delivery Tues-Thurs. I place the order on Saturday and usually get a 3 hour slot late Tuesday or Wednesday.

I thought it would be more expensive than shopping at Aldi but that hasn’t proved to be significantly so. I do change brands if something is on special. I also maximise Rewards points by using the Boost offers and accrue enough points to receive $10 off 2-3 times each month.

The only issue is have is I have never figured out the pricing of meat on Woolworths online. And I miss being able to buy the meat bargains you find when shopping in-store.

Overall, online shopping has made me a much more organised shopper and meal planner. I also like that I can order for other people via the app by just changing address - I have just ordered a delivery for a refugee family I know who are self-isolating due to Covid. It was straightforward even though they live in a country town in another state.


I prefer to shop in person, have never done online grocery shopping, would rather just do it myself. I’m quite organised, go in with a list and as I usually go to the same supermarket (Coles) am familiar with the layout which makes the process faster. Since Covid, I try to avoid going on weekends and other times when the store is more crowded, and am conscious of keeping on the move although I do keep an eye out for specials (things I usually buy, not what the supermarket tries to trick me into buying!) I have always tended to keep a well stocked pantry eg cans of legumes, pasta, tinned tomatoes but since Covid, keep a greater quantity of non perishables - don’t panic buy, just have more in the pantry “in case” (eg stricter lockdowns, or having to isolate whilst awaiting a Covid test result etc).


I have been in Covid quarantine in SA twice, after driving back from NSW. Each quarantine was 14 days. I used Woolworths Contactless delivery service while in quarantine.

The deliveries kept me alive, but I would not use them if I didn’t have to.

° There is always a delivery charge, usually > $15
° There is no way to see what is fresh and in good condition
° perishable items … eg milk … are delivered with a Use By date of
perhaps 5 days, whereas the items in the store come with 10 days
or more
° I found items ordered were often not available at delivery time. WW was
always very good about replacing the unavailable item with “something
similar”, and never charging more, but I didn’t like the replacement item

So - I needed the service. It kept me alive. But I would never use it by choice.


You can ask for what you want via the personal shopper note you can apply to each individual item on the order. First time I ordered Cauliflower, they sent me old and rubbery and HUGE. I liked the huge but the old and rubbery I did not, so I have a permanent note saying fresh as you can and fresh beats big. On the matter of useby dates, I always ask for the longest possible expiry. Since doing this, I havent had any issues.


Before the pandemic started, I used Coles twice. The first time and the last time.

I only did so because there was a bonus offer.

When the delivery arrived, the driver proceeded to rearrange the cargo prior to finally bringing our order to our door.

The tub of ice cream had partially thawed out and a pack of Magnum bars was missing.

Never again.

I have used Woolies click & collect a few times but only when they have had online only special offers.

I much prefer to select my own items so as to get the freshest and the best value possible and grab some mark downs as an added bonus.

Here is an example of what you can only get by shopping in person.

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Thankyou, SueW. I should have thought of that. Next time … (if there is a next time …) :slightly_smiling_face:

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  1. On low budget - my grocery shop relies on ‘reduced to clear’ and other specials.
  2. I think when purchase online each item is scanned by packer at a higher rate than if you bought in person. - is this correct?
  3. Prefer to buy fresh produce from local grocer - cheaper and I control ripeness / size etc

That is not correct. The prices for online orders are the prices shown on the online shop that are usually the same as in-store prices. Some products lend to confusion because as a practical matter they are based on weight but shown as per each in some manner, this being an example


What you miss with online ordering is the ability to find short dated item discounts, noting sometimes there are specials only available for online orders, and the ability to pick ‘the one’ you want rather than the one the picker grabs or thinks you probably want (if you have left notes in your order), all plus delivery costs that you don’t miss paying.