Online Grocery Shopping - it's not for EveryoneSince the advent of the Internet Age, we’ve all become accustomed to performing a number of functions online that we once did in person. From chatting to friends via social networking pages to viewing details of cars when we’re looking to change our vehicle, the web has transformed the way most of us live our daily lives, and the trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future as well.

One of the more common ways many of us use the Internet is how we buy our weekly groceries. This formerly onerous task once involved an hour or two of wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles of the local supermarket in a bid to find the items we needed, before unloading them from a trolley onto the conveyor belt at the checkout and packing them back up again into bags.

These days, millions of people in countries all over the world are able to order the provisions they need from a dedicated website and to have them delivered directly to their homes at a time of their choosing. There can be no doubt that it’s a far more convenient option, if only because it saves a degree of time and effort on our parts. However, it’s not all about the positives, because there are one or two drawbacks that, if you’re thinking about joining the online revolution, you need to be aware of.

Beware of sell by dates

One of the more obvious issues involves the sell by dates on some items. Whoever packs the food at the supermarket itself prior to loading will not be as attentive to freshness as the consumer. Most web shoppers have been disappointed on several occasions by the fact that some items won’t last very long before they perish.

Special offers are common at the local store, of course, but with many companies these are often rather slow to make their way to the websites. Therefore, the shopper who is physically at the store will regularly find their shopping dollar goes a little further than if they’d stayed at home. The question of which option is better really boils down to whether you’re prepared to accept the odd disadvantage in exchange for the convenience.

There’s another factor here which also needs consideration, and that is the social side of things. Many shoppers head to the supermarket with friends or relatives, and they actually enjoy the experience. They like to check out the bargains together, have a little interaction on the way and maybe head for a coffee at the store’s restaurant. For them, the simplicity of online buying takes away from the pleasure of the whole process.

David Showell lives in the UK and prefers to do his shopping online. When he’s not enjoying some retail therapy, he’s working for