If you haven’t yet tried Walmart’s online grocery ordering system in Utah, let me give you a run down of how it works. I’ll go over the The pros and cons and you can get a feel of if the service is for you. For me, its been a lifesaver, it might be for you too.
How does it work
First of all you head on over to the Walmart Grocery site and signup. Once you’ve created your account you pick the store you want to collect your order from. most stores in Utah now offer pickup options, plus Walmart operates several special pickup only locations as well. Once you’ve logged in, you can review the options for where you drive to pickup your order.
At this time you can either reserve your pickup window (offered in one hour blocks, seven days a week) or just get started on the order. If you do reserve a pickup time now, they’ll happily hold that for you, for two hours in total. Plenty of time to get shopping and head to checkout. Speaking of which, you can do that on your phone or tablet in an app, or on a computer browser. You can also start on one and finish on another, its completely seamless.
If you don’t reserve a slot you can keep your basket in a pending state for as long as you want. I find myself always keeping an order open, and as I run out of items during the week, just pop them onto the Walmart app there and then. 30 seconds and done, I don’t forget that I’ve run out of salt the next time I go shopping!
I’ve found product availability can vary depending on the store you choose and how busy it is. Generally I always find what I need, and given Walmart’s expansive inventory, there’s always an alternative. As you make more and more orders, the system starts to build up a favorites list of your most ordered items, making re-order of standard essentials a cinch.
One quirk I’ve found is that sometimes, the smallest change to a product can make it seem like its permanently out of stock. If something on your favorites list always seems out of stock, search the online store again. It’s likely the store still has the product, it just changed form something like 5 to 5.5 ounces, so is in effect a different product now.
For items by the pound like deli meat and vegetables, the ordering system lets you ratchet up in 0.25 pound increments. I’ve always found the weights and measurements fairly accurate when I collect too. Speaking of vegetables, I’ve ordered from two stores in SLC and both have supplied good produce as good as any outlet in town. Nothing too old, nothing close to going off. That said, I find avocados are always super unripe; so for items you truly need to feel in your hands, an in store trip might be better.
What about frozen and refrigerated items, delicate items
I believe items are temperature controlled until you pick them up. Certainly in the years of using this service, I’ve never had one single complaint. Frozen goods are picked up still frozen, and refrigerated items . Likewise, delicate items such as eggs have always been supplied without issue.
What if my item isn’t in stock
Once you’ve completed your order, hit the check out button and you can specify what you want to happen if the item isn’t in stock. You can ask for a refund or opt for the Walmart employee to make their best choice at a suitable alternative. This can be a tricky judgement call; but if you don’t like a substitution at pickup, you can always turn it down in person. When you arrive to pickup your order, the team will always run down any changes with you in person.
I tend to let the guys choose what my substitution will be and more often than not you actually get a bigger or better product. Let’s say your specific 12oz coffee is out of stock, but they have a 16oz in stock, they’ll fill your order with the bigger product at no extra cost. This has happened to me time and time again, it’s always cool to feel like you’ve beaten the big guy a little too!
Only very rarely have I had bizarre substitutions, one time I got lemons for limes. Hmm, not sure what was going through the picker’s mind that day. Sometimes it’s worthy of a small giggle, but the staff are endlessly helpful, and again, you can always turn down a substation for a refund.
What are the prices like
First up, the service is completely free. The Walmart team at your local store will pick the groceries for you and have them waiting during your pickup window. They’ll load your car for you, run down any item changes and they don’t accept tips. It’s completely free.
The prices on products are exactly the same as in store. Yep you read that right, not only is the pickup service free, but you don’t pay a penny extra on product’s ordered online for pickup. Honestly it kinda baffles me why anyone would willingly trudge around a Walmart when this convenience is art most fingertips.
Then we get to Savings Catcher – Walmart’s program of refunding you the difference – if a competitor has a product cheaper. This doesn’t happen automatically so you do have to be meticulous. Each time you make payment you do need to submit your receipt on the Walmart.com site. I just wait for my email confirmation of pickup to arrive, and use that as my reminder to go and file my Savings Catcher receipt on their site. On a typical order of $100-$125 I usually find I get $1-$2 back. That doesn’t seem like much I know, but over the course of a year (remember you have to be diligent) it doesn’t hurt getting the odd $50 gift card to use on Walmart.com. Annoyingly you can’t use these gift cards on groceries at this time, just general product on the Walmart online store.
What is pickup like
On the day of your order all you need to do is call the provided number 15 minutes before you arrive at the store; so they can prep your order for loading into your car. And if you forget, its all good, I’ve turned up unannounced before and the team has been courteous and understanding in getting my order loaded up. If you use more than one store, it’s always good to double check what store you’re headed to as well. Yep, done that before.
Is Walmart online ordering and pickup for me?
If you like to inspect each apple, banter with the deli guy, check out what’s new on each shelf – then maybe not. Also, I am not aware of any way to use coupons in the app or website, so if you’re a coupon clipper extraordinaire this might not be for you either.
If you’re just stocking up on essentials and hate the wasted time and energy that comes with grocery shopping – then yes, this is for you. You cut out the travel time, the whole time of shopping, checking our and competing with other shoppers. If it’s super hot or cold out, you can order from the comfort of your sofa. I personally use the service to order bulk and everyday items, cleaning products, tinned goods, pantry items; stuff I know that Walmart will easily be the cheapest for. And items that I honestly don’t care if they switch out for another brand. I am honestly not too bothered if
Another nice bonus, every so often you’ll get handed a small gift bag of random products. Nothing crazy or expensive, but who doesn’t love free stuff. It’s usually all very random and new products that a company wants to get in peoples hands to try.
$10 off your first order
If you want to test out the service use the following link: http://r.wmt.co/g-Tw1. This will give you $10 of your first order, plus give me $10 too. Hey thanks in advance stranger! 🙂