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

Have been using Woolworths online for 12 months or so and found their service very good. Any wrong deliveries they rectify them the next day at no cost to the consumer (have sent wrong sizes and delivered correct ones the next day but cannot accept returns) Delivery times have been mucked up on a couple of occasions but otherwise would recommend the service. Being in a wheelchair the additional cost is well worth it. Have in the past physically gone to the shop with a carer. Geoff


Before the pandemic, even with limited mobility I used to love grocery shopping weekly at Aldi, but ordered most other things online, where possible, because I could take my time and shop around for the best prices without using petrol or fighting for a car park.

Now I shop weekly online with Woolies because I find they have a better selection of the items that I regularly use. (I’ve tried Coles but they just don’t offer some of the items I want.)
I leave a small trolley outside, they fill it up, I wheel it in and just put the groceries away. Too easy!

Once in awhile there will be an issue with missing items or part of someone else’s order, but customer service is quick to respond with a refund and an apology.

I do use the Delivery Unlimited service at Woolies and it usually means that I can get my delivery during any time frame I choose at no additional cost. For me, the service has paid for itself in saved delivery fees.


“I leave a small trolley outside, they fill it up, I wheel it in and just put the groceries away. Too easy!”

What an excellent tip to make the process easier for the less mobile.


We’ve started online shopping for the first time. Generally for non-perishable is ok, but generally perishable did like banannas are overripe.

Separately, delivery slots are harder to obtain, we’ve tried the partner delivery option, always late, which Wollies refund delivery fee. We’ve also noticed that the partner option generally involves the order being satisfied from the local store, not the warehouse; this has meant that a good number of the items are not available. Strange that basic items like butter are not available.


@jhol59 That is indeed an excellent tip! That will be definitely be mentioned in the content we are putting together. Thank you for all your comments!

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Thanks for your comments Geoff!

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Brilliant idea. Going to acquire a little trolley :slight_smile:

By the way, does anyone know if Woolies is accepting its plastic bags back yet? (I’ve been getting paper since they introduced those, great for carrying stuff to the recycle bin and throwing all in) Early last year they stopped, so did Coles, but now one can send the Coles bags back for recycling or whatever…


But will the delivery drivers recognise their trolley outside your front door?


Woolies Melbourne metro resumed Redcycle collections prior to the current lockdown and still has the bins open.

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  1. Woolworths -
    I have only ordered once online from Woolworths - years ago…
    a few weeks ago, I started doing an online order for my monthly ‘big shop’ - this took ALMOST 1 hour… I did NOT proceed because when you get to the “checkout” -
    … (a) it states that 'IF the item is not-in-stock, they will replace it with another item"; and
    … (b) I could not see ‘where to record my Discount-code’…
    therefore, on the next day, I went early to the store…

my pattern of in-store visits to Woollies has changed over the past 18 months - since Dec.20, my in-store visits are only a couple of times a month…

  1. BUTCHER -
    Earlier this month, I placed an online order with the Butcher - it was delivered a few days later = no problem… I find that I get better quality from the Butcher…

A post more relevant in the older topic, but possibly relevant here for visibility. Uber!


Thanks Phil! Yes, we will be looking into people’s experiences of having groceries delivered by services such as Uber and Deliveroo also. It’s an ever-changing world!


Hi Pru. I started using Coles online delivery last year during lockdown to minimise interactions with others. I love that someone else goes around collecting and checking out all your groceries for you! There is a wider range of brands and products available online than at my local store. Like @njfking, I also used to spend enough and use my Coles credit card which entitled me to free delivery. Delivery was otherwise more than I was willing to pay ($10+?) They have since changed that so you have to spend over $250 for free delivery, which we (family of four) mostly don’t do. Once the lockdown finished I went back to shopping in store and at the local fruit&veg and butcher. However Coles have now changed their delivery charge to $2 for a 6 hour window (I’m in Clayton, Melbourne) so that plus lockdown means I’m using delivery again.

Had no problem with available delivery slots/times, but I usually order at least a few days in advance and I’m home all day so pretty flexible on terms of delivery time.

I have had a similar experience as @judyb23 mentions - I’m a more organised shopper, getting one delivery a week, and meals are planned out for the week.

The quality of fresh produce is usually fine. The customer service is straightforward - I call up and leave a message and they credit the amount to my account; never have to speak to a person. Only time I have contacted them re quality was for a cucumber that was badly squashed. Occasionally have items missing or a few times we’ve even had other people’s groceries included with ours! Because of their hygiene policy, they won’t take the items back. So we have ended up with cheese, fruit, veg and even laundry powder that we didn’t pay for.

Another bonus of having groceries delivered at the moment is that I don’t have to take the kids shopping with me. Usually I’d do the shopping while they’re at school/kinder, but we’re all home at the moment.

Downsides of delivery: now have to use plastic bags. Previously they’d bring it in and put it onto the bench for me. I’ve also learnt to ‘not allow substitutes’ for products that I’m buying only because they’re on special so I don’t end up getting something similar but at full price.

Re click and collect, I tried the service at the store near me a few times to avoid the delivery charge but it was rubbish. They never answered the phone (number provided specially for click and collect). The last time, when they didn’t answer I had to unload the kids, walk around to the front of the store, wait, talk to someone, go back to the car, wait, unload the kids AGAIN and go back to the front of the store, talk to someone, go back to the car…Never again.


One difference I’ve found between online shopping this year compared to last year is the availability of products - I can now get most things in my preferred brand whereas last year lots of products were unavailable. The supermarkets seemed to have worked out their supply chain issues.


Or the panic buying has substanially reduced?


I’ve switched to Coles after all my blathering about Woolies. I’ve just taken several bags of paper bags to the recycle bin and have decided that I would prefer to send the plastic back to coles with the delivery guy instead. Also, the cheaper delivery fee is a factor. It means I can do a smaller shop more often (which is what I was doing when I was DIY) and it wont cost a bomb to do so. Storage of stuff need no longer be a problem. I do find Woolies easier, and I love shopper notes, but… financial challenges have made this change essential.


I started shopping online with Woolies during the big lockdown. I’m an impulsive shopper and have saved lots of $$$ by going online. I can check whether I’ve overspent my budget and remove items that I don’t really need. The savings I’ve made more than cover the delivery charge.

I’ve also shopped online with Harris Farm. The quality of their produce is excellent and they deliver in a box without using plastic bags. Sadly, they don’t have the product range of Woolies (pet food, cleaning products, toiletries) don’t use them any more.

If I run out between my big fortnightly shop I go to my small local shops. I want to keep small business alive and do my bit this way.


Just read the review comparing on-line grocery shopping and one, what I would consider, major omission is not talking about substitution or lack there of for certain items that have been ordered but not supplied. We have been using this service a bit more recently for both ourselves and my mother in-law. A recent delivery to my mother-in-law they didn’t supply milk and did not supply another brand or milk. This was in metropolitan Melbourne and there was definitely no shortage of milk. We have quite often found a few things ordered are not supplied which seems strange and on occasions can be very important, e.g. a key ingredient for a planned meal.

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This has happened to me too, but only from Coles. You can choose to allow substitutes, or not, but no individual decisions for same… Woolies has a checkbox for things for which you’d allow substitutes (eg, my cat will only eat certain foods, so substituting can prove very expensive if he won’t eat it.) I’m reverting to Woolies paper bags because the delivery drive refused to take the plastics. Coles still is taking them back.

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No difference for me, except the availability of delivery slots! I have been shopping online for over 20 years, originally only with Coles as Woolworths hadn’t started then. Now I use both, basically because since they have gone from local stores to delivery hubs, the variety of products has declined and there are some things I can only get from Woolworths and others from Coles! So I alternate, as required. There have been issues with substitutions during lockdown, but that is only to be expected and overall I can’t really complain. I am keeping a larger supply of essentials on hand, and if I miss out on an item one week, I can manage without it until the next order. I have long life milk in the cupboard for emergencies and frozen bread in the freezer :blush:. I place my order a week in advance to ensure a delivery slot, as I can modify it up to 24 hours prior to delivery without losing my slot.