Sunday, September 12, 2021

Wollies Direct to Boot Worked Better Than Coles but there is Room for Innovation

Woolworths Direct to Boot Bay,
Tom Worthington CC-BY 12 September 2021
My second attempt to order groceries online from Coles failed, so I switched to Woolworths. The online ordering was much the same, but the collection process was much quicker, easier, and more pleasant. I received a text message telling me my order was ready for collection, to click when I departed, and click again when I arrived. As with Coles, I got lost in the car-park trying to find the collection bays. But this was in the open air, not an underground car park so much easier to see my way around, and it felt less oppressive (at the wonderfully named Spitfire Avenue, next to Canberra Airport). 

The bays were clearly marked, and the staff already on hand, so I was out in a couple of minutes (rather than 20 at Coles). They had a hand card with crates which fitted to it, rather than the wobbly trolley  Coles was using. All my order was there and the fresh items excellent quality. There seemed to be more plastic bags, but this may be because I had ordered frozen, and chilled food, with each category in a separate bag.

For me Woolworths wins hands down over Coles, assuming the ordering system keeps working. If not, is there a third alternative in Canberra? 

Perhaps the team at the Canberra Innovation Network, Innovation ACT and ANU TechLauncher could design an independent home shopping system. This might use a just in time picking system: when you told the system you were on your way, the picker would quickly go around the isles in a discount supermarket, picking the items, and be ready just as you pulled up outside. The picking service doesn't need to be owned by, or affiliated with, the supermarket.