Monday, August 22, 2016

Review of Walmart's Free Grocery Pickup

Walmart, ah, Walmart.

When I first heard about Walmart's Free Grocery Pickup--where you can order your groceries online and then you go to the store and stay in your car and they bring your groceries out to you, I felt like I was living in the future. And a glorious future it was. When my kids were young and I would drive to the store and someone would fall asleep and I would sit there in the car thinking, "Do I wake my kid and go in, or just go home, or just sit here in the car for 30 minutes not doing anything so they get a little nap in?" At that time in my life, I remember thinking that if there were drive thru groceries like there was drive thru fast food, all the problems in my whole life would dry up and go away. 

Well, folks, now there is in reality drive through grocery pick up just like drive through fast food.

And the truth is that I really do like it. But I'm going to start this review with a tiny vent because there was a learning curve to ordering and they seriously almost lost me as a customer and a promoter of this whole thing. If you want to skip the vent, hop down a few paragraphs.

There are a few glitches. This is a review and I'm going to be honest. The first time I did this on the computer, I HATED it. I was like, "Seriously, Walmart, how can you muff this up and make me still hate you?" But they did. I'd tried to use a friend's code, but it wasn't working. I had to call. They didn't have a bunch of stuff that I was sure they had (like, they only offered me organic bananas; where were the regular bananas?). Then when I went to use the groovy feature where I can change my order before pick up, it looked like it charged me again, so I had to call (it didn't; it just looked that way). Then there weren't pick up times I wanted. I seriously just hated Walmart with my soul. Until I sat in my car at that pick up and a polite young man brought out my groceries and loaded them into the back of my car. It was like small town 1950's market meets the future. And it was awesome.

Since then I've learned the ropes a bit and become a convert. You will too.

What I hated: 

1. Glitches, glitches, glitches. The website is surely a work in progress, and it just needs to be refined. And I feel like certain things aren't clear. After a few orders you know the ropes, but at first certain things seem confusing.
2. Sometimes it's hard not to see an item. The first time I accidentally got a small applesauce just because it looked big in the picture and I didn't read it closely enough. Not really their fault, but something to be aware of as you shop with thumbnail pictures instead of actual products.
3. There is not, as near as I can tell, a way for your to use regular clipped out coupons for cereal or Tide or whatever. You can use Walmart type promotions, but no newspaper type coupons.

What I loved: 

1. Have I mentioned the pick up where a polite Walmart worker comes to your car and puts your groceries in the back. And you don't have to do anything and could stand there catching Pokemon if you wanted to.
2. The other feature I just really love love love is that you can start a grocery cart just like you might start a grocery list. So if I'm planning to shop on Saturday, I can just start adding things to my cart on Monday. Oh, we need pasta and vinegar and olives. Then Wednesday I realize that we need toilet paper and peanut butter. Then on Thursday I look in the fridge and realize we're completely out of ketchup and that won't do. Etc. I just keep adding things to my cart instead of a shopping list. And it's wonderful and glorious because then they won't be forgotten when you forget your list, or remember your list, but mysteriously forget some of the things on it, or whatever frazzled people do when they shop. I love using it as my grocery list.
3. You can change your order. So if you decide you're not making pizza for dinner, take that pepperoni off the list. Note that when you do you have to re-check out, but they're not re-charging you (unless you add more and then they charge you the difference).
4. Even if you're late for your time, they'll hold your order till 8:00 (or whenever your Walmart stops doing the pick ups). I don't recommend abusing this, but it's nice to know.

What you need to learn to navigate their not-always-as-user-friendly-as-it-should-be website Walmart:

1. Sign up by clicking through the link if you want the promotion ($10 off your first purchase of $30 or more). If you're using the code I post below to get $10 off your order, you have to click through that link. If you don't, and sign up on your own and then try to use the promo code, it won't work. You have to click through the link to get the promotion.

2. Add stuff to your grocery cart. I actually think this is mostly a great feature. It's easy to add, easy to remove, easy to put that you want more than one item of something.

3. Choose a pick up place.

4. Choose a pick up time. You can choose the time early in the week if you want, even if you haven't checked out. This is nice because some of the slots go kind of quickly, so you can get them early if you'd like--even before you've officially checked out.

5. Give them your credit card info. Then add promos if you have them.

6. Know that if you change your order (which you can, which is nice), you have to "Place order" again. This threw me off the first time because I'd taken things out of my cart and I was worried they'd charge me for both transactions. They didn't, and they won't for you either.

7. Call and complain if something is awful. They answer quickly and try to resolve your concerns and are really trying to make this work and make you happy.

8. If something glitches and it won't let you place your order, just go back a few steps and try again.

HERE'S THE LINK. Remember to click through it if you want to save $10 on your first purchase ($30 minimum).

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