The top hacks for ordering groceries from Walmart, Amazon, Kroger and more amid surging demand

Image
Online grocery demand is surging. Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider
  • The coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge in the demand for online grocery delivery.
  • Placing orders online with retailers like Walmart and Target is becoming more difficult amid the increased demand.
  • Some software developers created bots that notify users when a delivery slot is available on Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh and expedite the entire checkout process.
  • From software extensions to simple hacks for saving a delivery slot online, here are some tips for how to get your groceries from an online order.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As people across the US try to stay indoors, the demand for online groceries is surging.

Retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target generally offer speedy fulfillment times for online grocery orders. But as more people turn to ordering their groceries online, wait times have been growing and items have been flying off the virtual shelves.

Amazon announced that any new customers who want to join AmazonFresh and Whole Foods delivery and pickup services need to join a waitlist.

In many cases, just getting an available delivery spot is a hassle and can take a lot of waiting and refreshing on a browser.

Luckily, there are some hacks that can make ordering groceries online during the pandemic a bit more pain-free. From using pieces of software to track open windows to trying out alternative services, here are some tips for getting your groceries quickly and painlessly from an online order.


Try going through services like Shipt and Instacart

While online grocery delivery services such as Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and Shipt have also been backed up with orders, you might be able to have better luck with one of these services as opposed to going directly through a major retailer. A lot of it depends on location – some regions might be busier with certain services than others, so it could be worth comparing wait times on multiple services.


Monitor websites for delivery slots

The system for opening up slots varies by company and can be difficult to predict.

Walmart usually opens up new grocery slots every morning, but some people have said that midnight has been a successful time for getting an order slot from different retailers.

Refreshing a browser checking in on a website regularly is a simple way to make sure that you nab a delivery slot when it opens.


Grocery bots can help you nab delivery slots the moment they open up

Developers have created pieces of software to help people place their orders for Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods online delivery without having to wait, Vice first reported.

One Google Chrome extension automatically polls Whole Foods delivery slots on Amazon’s website every 60 seconds and alerts the user when a slot opens up.

Another bot for Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh delivery secures delivery slots the moment they become available and then completes the entire checkout process for the user as well.

An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that the company will release a queueing feature to give customers a virtual place in a delivery line to make the process more equitable for all shoppers. But in the meantime, these bots have been effective for a number of people in getting their desired delivery slots online.


Some third-party apps use technology to help you pre-book a delivery slot

Cooklist, a Dallas-based meal prep startup, partners with various major retailers, including Target, Walmart, Kroger, and Costco to help customers get the most of their shopping orders.

An interesting feature of this app is its technology that allows customers to place an order for groceries from Walmart and Target in advance of new time slots opening up.

This technology works similarly to the way bots secure Whole Foods delivery slots. Cooklist lets its users choose a slot through the app before the retailer’s slots open up. Once the slots open, which is generally around midnight or early morning, Cooklist technology immediately grabs those reserved spots for its customers and places their orders.

This advanced ordering feature is available in Walmart and Target stores nationwide through Cooklist.


There’s a simple hack for making sure you save your spot for Kroger delivery

source
Associated Press

When it comes to ordering groceries through Kroger, there’s a way to make sure you reserve a delivery while essentially bypassing the wait time, which can take up to a week sometimes.

Since Kroger lets shoppers update their cart up to 24 hours in advance of the order, shoppers can add one item to their cart about a week before they actually need to place the order, and then update it as the time for delivery approaches. This hack works well when the order is placed directly after you have replenished your grocery supply. That way, when it comes time to restock, you will have already secured your place in line.


Consider ordering from nontraditional grocery stores for some items

source
Reuters

DoorDash, a local logistics platform that generally partners with fast-food chains, has partnered with convenience stores like 7-Eleven, CircleK, Wawa, and Casey’s General Store to offer delivery for essential household essentials.

Customers can order toilet paper, cleaning supplies, over-the-counter medicine, and even prepared hot and cold food through the platform.

Fast-food chains are also offering their own versions of grocery delivery to sell off their ingredients. Chains, including Panera, Subway, Potbelly, and Fuddruckers are selling grocery items like milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, and loaves of bread at some locations.