IN RECENT YEARS, ONLINE food and grocery delivery services have taken off. According to a report from the advisory and market research company Allied Market Research, the global food delivery mobile app market generated $3.79 billion in revenue in 2017 and is expected to net $16.61 billion by 2023.
And it isn’t only food that can be delivered to your door at a minimal cost. With Amazon, you can shop for numerous products, from books to clothes, and provided you pay the $119 annual subscription fee, you can have them delivered without shipping fees within two days, the same day or sometimes even in a few hours. Meanwhile, grocery delivery services have taken off, with companies like Shipt, Instacart and Peapod thriving. What’s more, Walmart recently announced that it will be testing a service that will bring groceries to customers’ kitchen refrigerators. And with businesses like CarMax and Carvana, you can even buy a new car online and skip meeting with salespeople to have your vehicle transported to your driveway.
But before you get items delivered to your door, you’ll want to weigh key benefits and drawbacks and consider whether time-saving apps and resources are worth the cost. Here are the pros and cons of using a delivery service:
- Pro: You’ll save time.
- Con: Convenience comes at a cost.
- Pro: You’ll have added time for other tasks.
- Con: You still may need to go to a physical store or branch.
You’ll Save Time
Receiving door-to-door service and carving out extra time for yourself to take care of other errands rather than lugging heavy grocery bags is certainly a key advantage of using a grocery delivery service. But how much time are you saving? According to 2014 data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture, on average, American adults spent 37 minutes in food preparation and cleanup. So, if you use a delivery service every day, you’d save, on average, more than four hours per week.
On the other hand, purchases for big-ticket items can take additional time. If you assemble furniture that’s delivered, rather than paying for it to be delivered and assembled, you can expect the process to take one to four hours, according to the home improvement site HomeAdvisor.com.
According to Edmunds.com, an automotive information site, the average time it takes to buy a car is four hours, which includes tasks such as having your credit run and getting your loan approved. Still, whether it’s worth the money to have services and products delivered as a time-saver is another question.
For some consumers on a tight schedule, the value of getting food or another product delivered to your door is worth the cost. Becky Beach, a design consultant in Arlington, Texas, and a life coach at MomBeach.com, says that with tight deadlines and countless meetings at work, getting food delivered is critical and worth the extra delivery fees. Without using her preferred food delivery service, Favor, at FavorDelivery.com, “I wouldn’t be able to get any lunch during the day,” she says. “They deliver food really fast and the price isn’t that much extra. I work pretty far from lunch places, like 15 minutes, so this really saves me time,” she says.
Convenience Comes at a Cost
Restaurant food delivery apps, such as UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash and Caviar, typically charge 30% to your bill. In Favor’s case, the delivery fee usually runs around $6, though it can sometimes be as low as $3, not including processing or booking fees, which can run from 5% to 9%. It’s also suggested you tip the driver. Beach says that while she is typically charged $5.65 for the fee and tip for her meal delivery, she usually ends up tipping the driver $1 to $5 more in cash.
As for grocery delivery services, such as FreshDirect and Amazon Prime, it can often range from $6 to $12, depending on the service you use. What’s more, depending on the company you use, you may get free delivery if you spend a certain amount. For example, if you use Shipt and spend at least $35, your delivery charge is free. The individual prices of the food you buy may be slightly more than if you shopped for it yourself, according to the Shipt website. Using a Shipt shopper to buy a loaf of bread may cost you, for instance, 30 cents more than if you picked it out yourself.
When it comes to having a car delivered, car delivery websites tend to charge a transport fee, which can cost several hundred dollars. You might decide that it’s worth saving $400 by visiting your auto dealership and buying a car in person. With furniture, delivery charges can vary and cost more than $100, depending on the weight of the item, though some companies, like Wayfair, will waive shipping charges if the order is more than $49.
You’ll Have Added Time for Other Tasks
While the delivery service charges can add up, in some cases – like if you’re sick and don’t feel up to going out – a delivery service can be a huge benefit, says Teia Collier, the publisher of Dallas Single Mom, a lifestyle website aimed at single parents.
“In Dallas, there has been a sharp uptick in delivery services in the last five years. I think people are more willing to outsource some of the tasks that are time-consuming,” Collier says.
Another perk: Sometimes a delivery service may end up giving a consumer more choices, Collier says. “I’ve recommended and used (the delivery service) Reserve Bar to deliver vodka, bourbon and whiskey as gifts and to prep for holiday travel,” Collier says. “The product comes packaged nicely and intact and also offers options that are simply not available in some of the more rural and drier areas of Texas.”
You Still May Need to Go to a Physical Store or Branch
As with paying for any service, the experience can vary, and sometimes you may give up something substantial or innocuous for getting extra time. For instance, if you completely give up visiting your supermarket, you may miss out on seeing a sale or new products that you might have purchased. You also may need to go back to a physical store if something was delivered to you that wasn’t what you expected or you need to make a return.
And Collier cautions that while she has had good experiences with alcohol delivery services, she hasn’t always had positive outcomes when ordering restaurant food. “I’ve discovered that it makes good sense to think about what you are ordering, especially if it is food, and what it will taste like 20 to 30 minutes after it gets delivered,” she says………Read More>>