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Surprising store beats out Coles and Woolworths for online shopping

IGA has beaten out Coles and Woolworths as the most satisfactory online shopping experience as voted by customers for the second year running.

There’s no doubt the Covid-19 pandemic created a surge in the number of customers grocery shopping online and surprisingly customers voted the Independent Grocers of Australia as the best for overall online experience.

The national survey conducted by Canstar Blue saw IGA receive five-star ratings across a number of categories, including customer service, food freshness, product availability and delivery and pick-up reliability.

Shoppers voted the retailer the best for overall satisfaction with IGA coming out on top over prominent supermarket retailers Coles and Woolworths.

IGA worker packs shopping into boxes. Source: IGA/Facebook
IGA has come out on top for overall online shopping customer satisfaction two years running. Source: IGA/Facebook

While IGA initially offered a small priority shop delivery service - designed to support the elderly, vulnerable or isolated - it has evolved into a full home delivery service.

“​​It’s really our local IGA store owners that have won this award. They pick and pack every order with care for their locals, just as if they were shopping for their own families,” Lee Martin, Head of Digital Channels for Metcash – the wholesaler who supplies independently owned IGA supermarkets says.

“What started during the pandemic as IGA Priority Shop, a basic home delivery service to support elderly, vulnerable or isolated customers, has now evolved to IGA Shop Online, a full online shopping offer that provides a home delivery service to customers from their local participating store, straight to their front door.”

How other stores rated

The survey of more than 2100 Aussie shoppers asked about their online shopping experience over the past six months.

While customers were most satisfied with IGA overall, Woolworths took out the top spot of five stars for website navigation, deals and specials available, and value for money.

Coles received four stars for deals and specials, website navigation, and value for money with three stars for overall satisfaction.

Woolworths logo is seen displayed on a smartphone and a pc screen. Source: Getty images
Woolworths ranked second for overall online shopping satisfaction amongst surveyed shoppers. Source: Getty images (SOPA Images via Getty Images)

Why are people shopping online?

The survey also found that while Covid-19 saw a surge in customers grocery shopping online with 43 per cent saying they shopped online during the pandemic, it appears most will continue.

Of those who began shopping online during lockdown, 24 per cent said they would continue.

Woolworths and Coles have both put resources in place to meet this demand with Woolworths recently opening a new eStore in Queensland.

Meanwhile, Coles is currently constructing two state-of-the-art automated customer fulfilment centres in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney.

But while there may be more people filling up a virtual shopping trolley rather than a real one, there were some common complaints with shopping online.

One of the most common gripes among those surveyed was not getting the right product they had ordered, delivery costs and unsatisfactory freshness of the food.

While the survey was conducted focussing on Woolworths, IGA and Coles, 36 per cent of those who were surveyed said they would shop with Aldi online if it was available.

While the German retail giant introduced online sales of some of their Special Buys earlier this year, an Aldi spokesperson recently said that: “There are no plans to offer online grocery shopping or click and collect at this time."

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