Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Leave the shopping to Hannaford To Go

If grocery shopping isn’t one of your favorite weekly chores, there is good news as we found out recently after trying Hannaford To Go. While the service isn’t perfect, it’s a definite option for those who would rather spend their time doing something else.

Because there aren’t any direct to home grocery services in our area like Peapod, the Hannaford option is the only one available. While Amazon is testing a grocery delivery service in other parts of the country but it will probably be a long time before they reach us.

When Hannaford originally started this convenience, there were three pilot locations in New Hampshire and now there are ten. It is also available in Maine, Massachusetts and New York. My assumption is that since they are expanding the area of service Hannaford is having some success with this model.

I am not going to give you all of the details but some of the highlights. The most time consuming part is building a list on their website. You have to search for the items and add them to your shopping list. Then you just make additions or subtractions as needed on a weekly basis. One of the worries for most is that the produce won't be very good but we have had no problems with that so far. For example, the strawberries and bananas that we ordered were perfect. You can also add a comment for each item. If you wanted bananas a little green you can just make a note.

When placing your order select a time within a 1 hour window from a drop down menu. After confirming the order online go to your local Hannaford store and drive into and park in one of the “to go” reserved spaces sometime during the hour that was set for pick up. Call the number that is on the sign in front of you and let them know that you have arrived. Someone will come out and let you know the total and what was not available if anything. That is the time when you would let them know what you would like for a substitute.

This is a work in progress and there definitely are areas for improvement. On one trip an item was out of stock but you find that out when you get there. If you really need that particular item you are out of luck unless you have a substitute and may have to take the time to go elsewhere to get it. They should let you know in advance by text or some other method so you can give them a substitute or figure out what you want to do. Hannaford also needs to build a mobile app so customers can easily make changes to their list on smaller devices.
There is a service charge of $5 for orders under $125 and that is waived once you go over $125. On our first order the service charge was waived for trying the service and this is standard for everyone who try's the service for the first time. We were also wondering about tipping but it is our understanding that customers shouldn't tip, this is a service for their customers.
For us anytime we can spend doing something else other than grocery shopping makes Hannaford To Go worth a try. They need to keep working and fine tuning the process to eliminate out of stock items and save their customers more time in the long run for using their service. For now, it is the best option for us and we think you should give it a test run to see for yourself.