I have a dream… (Sorry I couldn’t resit the quote). I do, I have a dream; for as long as I can remember I have dreamt of owning my own coffee shop. A place where I can bake all my delicious cakes and sell them to the public amongst the bohemian setting of my coffee shop. It is a real dream too, I even have the name of my future business thanks to a dream I had one night about this coffee shop. Considering how reliant on a thriving high street this dream is you would think I would be more supportive of it. I certainly do not mean to be so anti the high street. Before kids I used to love a good trip up the cobbled streets of my town. But that is the key isn’t it? Kids. They don’t want to shop with me and I don’t want to shop with them. With the modern day ease of being able to shop from your sofa with a
wine cuppa in hand it is easy to see why the high street is dying out. In my opinion every parent should be shopping online.
Why Don’t More Parents Do It?
It is only recently I discovered the extent of parents not doing their weekly shop online. I guess I should have known, on the days I do enter a supermarket it is full of parents and kids. Naively I assumed they were like me and just ‘topping up’ a couple of essentials before the lovely Ocado Man brings the “Big Shop”. But apparently there are still parents of young kids doing their whole weekly shop in the shop. Some send their husbands, some take their kids but either way they do not do it online. What is the madness people??
I have been doing the food and clothes shopping online for years. Now, I do still do a some of the clothes shopping in the shops. But with companies making the online return and exchange process easier and easier it isn’t too much of an issue to order a top, realise it is wrong or doesn’t fit and to send it back. If I need a lot of items I resort to a good old online perusal. If I am just after one or two items I may head to my old stomping grounds to see what is about. When it comes to food… It is online or we don’t eat. Ok, that isn’t true but as I sit here writing this I have forgotten to do the online grocery shop and now I am faced with a big trip to an actual supermarket for more than just a loaf of bread. My intense concentration on sorting holiday activities for the girls has meant I have forgotten basic supplies. It is times like these I realise just how much I love online shopping so here is why I think all parents should be shopping online.
1. No abandoned trollies in the middle of aisles
I have never experienced this stress. My babies cried as much as the next persons and I am not immune to embarrassment so the idea of having to leave a supermarket mid shop is mortifying enough. I was 36 week pregnant with Ellie when I finally set up online shopping properly. Hubby and I used to do the shop together and we were very good at it. However if one went without the other stuff would get forgotten. Now I have a board in the kitchen to write weekly requests and essentials on so everything is remembered.
2. Genuinely Great Deals
Hear me out on this one. No the supermarkets don’t usually do online only deals. No the deals are not all conveniently laid out in front of you. Whilst you can look at a deals section on the websites you do physically have to look for them. I prefer it this way. Supermarkets are so successful because of the psychology they use to get you spending money. My ethos is a deal is only a deal if you were going to buy it anyway or it doesn’t go off. For example 3 extra free toilet rolls is a deal everyday of the week. Buy one get one half price on your favourite jam is perfect if you will eat it in time, which shouldn’t be a problem due to the long shelf life of it. Buy 3 punnets of strawberries for the price of 2 is only a deal if you wanted 3 in the first place. If you only want 1 then buy 1. If you buy the 3 will you eat them before they go off? If you buy them do you now need to buy meringue nests and cream to make Eton Mess which you weren’t planning on but wouldn’t that be a nice treat? Now, not only have you spent an extra £3 on a fruit that doesn’t last that long but you have also spent another £4 on supplies to make a dessert you weren’t planning on. Can you see my point? Deals are only deals if you actually needed it anyway. This mindset is much easier to stick to when not faced by the bright lights of Tesco.
3. Minimal Effort and Maximum Time Saver
Like I said… I can do this all sat on my sofa with a drink of choice in my hand; I can do it when the girls are in bed or perhaps sat eating lunch and I only need 20-30 minutes to get a whole weeks shop done then another 20 minutes when it is delivered to put it away. Yes you have to select a delivery slot, and yes you have to wait in for that whole hour to ensure you don’t miss it but that really isn’t an issue. I used to get it delivered for the hour after I had dropped Ellie off at preschool on a Monday. I was always going to be in so it made sense. Now we are in the summer holidays it is a little more erratic during the days but an evening delivery will always work.
4. I can be a little forgetful
I seriously suffer with baby brain. My two have permanently altered my ability to remember most things. The issue with forgetting things when you have to leave the house to shop is that I have to leave the house again to get what I forgot. If I forget something during an online shop I can either add it to my virtual basket if I remember in time or I have to leave the house to go and get what I forgot, but I have only left the house once.
5. Recipe inspiration on hand
I like to menu plan, I find it keeps the overall cost down. But I get constantly stuck for dinner ideas. If I am sat at my computer I have a whole world of inspiration I can use for the shop. Getting my phone out to do a recipe search in the middle of aisle 4 of Sainsburys whilst pushing a half full trolley with 2 kids in the seats is not exactly easy or ideal!
6. Substitutions Don’t Have to Be an Issue
Admittedly these are a right pain! Depending on who packed your shopping for you will depend on how good the substitution is. I was once sent a pack of 36 nappies instead of a 72 pack. Not a problem in itself but why not just send me 2 of the smaller packs? The best one was my Mum ordered some sort of fruit once, nothing too exotic but they obviously didn’t have any, or as I suspect is more likely… the person packing the shopping didn’t know what it was as it was substituted for L’Oreal hair dye. Nope… Not even close!
Sometimes these are amusing but generally they have always got on my nerves. The shop I now use almost never substitute items and if they do then they are suitable ones. I even get an advanced message pre warning me of the substitution. This makes it easier for me to plan around it if I need to.
Find Your Site
I understand online shopping isn’t for everyone. In fact I used to hate it but now I have found the site I like and can use to my advantage. Each are very similar yet slightly different in their set up so once you find one that you can make work for you then stick with it. I have tried them all and persevered before giving up. The shop I now use I have been shopping on for nearly three years. I nearly gave up on online shopping so many times I just couldn’t quite get it right. Now I know it was simply that me and the website were not hugely compatible.
For the lack of abandoned trollies and the amount of time it saves me in a week is enough to keep me logging on week after week. It is easy to understand why less and less of us are frequenting physical shops. Perhaps if I could combine my bohemian coffee shop with an organic produce pick up point and mini kids play area I would be onto a winner…..
Any investors get in touch please!