Is the New Grocery Delivery Service in Charleston Worth It?

A new grocery delivery service called Shipt arrived in the Holy City late last month and Holy City Sinner decided to give it shot.

Through an app (or the website) and a local network of shoppers, Shipt allows you to order groceries and have them delivered to your front door. At the moment, Whole Foods in Mt. Pleasant is the only local grocery store available. 

Shipt charges $99 a year, or $14 a month, for the service. Delivery is free on all orders above $35 - otherwise you'll be charge $7. In addition, product prices are a little higher than they are in the store (the website estimates an average of $5 on a $35 order). Based on my experience of shopping at Whole Foods, the $35 threshold will never be an issue.

One day last week, I pulled up the Shipt app and began to order groceries. There are numerous categories, photos, and meal suggestions, which made it incredibly easy to lose track of time as I filled up my digital grocery cart. One advantage of ordering via a cell phone application was having a real-time look at the total price of my groceries. This made it easier to stick to my budget than it would have been had I went to the store myself.

Ordering through the app was easy enough - the search function worked well, and I didn't notice any bugs. If a product you like isn't listed, you can choose "specialty item" and type out the name and description, and the shopper will try to find it for you.

Within a few minutes of submitting my order, I received an alert saying a shopper had been assigned and he was working on it. I was also provided a delivery window. I chose to have the shopper contact me (via text) if they had any questions. You can also choose to have your shopper use their "best judgment" if a certain item is out of stock. This is a convenient option for those who might be too busy to check their phone.

My shopper texted me when a couple products were unavailable and let me know which similar items could be purchased instead. He let me know of any price differences, so there were no surprises if I agreed to a different product. If you are particular about your groceries, I highly recommend you opt to have the shopper contact you with questions.

The shopper let me know when he was checking out, when he was on his way, and when I should expect him. He arrived within the designated time frame, walked my groceries to my door, and handed them to me. Shortly after leaving, I was e-mailed a receipt and could close it out by adding a tip of my choosing and assigning a star rating to my shopper.

The whole experience was quick, easy, and worked exactly as I hoped. I'll definitely use the service again. I've heard from other users that their experiences have been similar. However, one of my friends had a less than perfect experience on her second delivery. Her shopper grabbed incorrect products and overcharged on some specialty items. Within 24 hours of e-mailing the company, Shipt Costumer Service rectified the situation with not only refunds, but also an additional grocery credit for the inconvenience.

Assuming you enjoy shopping at Whole Foods, the only thing holding you back may be the cost. Honestly, the experience all comes down to the shopper you get. If they are timely, pick out the right products, and contact you when appropriate, you'll likely love the service. The yearly fee and the small price increase of the products is well worth it.

Still not sure? The best thing to do is try it yourself. Use this link to get $10 off your first order! A couple things you may want to know:

  • Your items can be delivered as little as two hours from submitting your order.
  • You cannot order alcohol
  • There is no way to use coupons, but there is a "sale items" section of the app
  • There is no surge pricing. This means you won't be charged more money on holidays or busier days.
  • You can have groceries delivered to anyone within the coverage area. You can surprise a friend of family member with free groceries!
  • The popular Hot Food Bar is not included in the app (you can request items via the "specialty item" option though)
  • You do not have the ability to request a specific shopper

If you try it out, let me know what you think! Click here for more information.

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Full disclosure - Holy City Sinner was given a free year of the service (the yearly fee was waived). I still had to pay for the groceries and the tip.

TagsShipt

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