12. Internet shopping

The larger supermarkets encourage customers to visit their web site and purchase online rather than visiting the shop.

Online Shopping

Customers log onto the company web site, browse through the categories of food available and choose the products they require.   They can search for goods, look at product pictures and even add special notes to their order, for example 'the lamb joint must be large enough to feed four people'. 

They can build up shopping lists of items that they purchase every week. This helps to speed up the process and ensures they don't forget essential items.

The web site will tell customers if there are any special offers for particular items and will often suggest complimentary goods. For example if you order an apple pie it will suggest that you might like to purchase some double cream or custard to go with it.

As each item is selected, it goes into the 'Electronic Trolley' and helpfully the running total cost of the goods is displayed.

When shopping is complete, the 'trolley' is moved to the 'Pay for Goods' area of the web site which is the equivalent of the cash till.

Two services may be on offer: A delivery to your door service and / or a 'click and collect' service where the packed trolley is waiting for you at the shop to collect.

click and collect service

For home delivery, the customer pays and then chooses a suitable delivery time slot which is usually between 1-2 hours e.g. between 3 -4 pm.

The order is then transmitted electronically to the order fulfillment warehouse or local store where pickers pack the order ready for delivery in the agreed time slot.

For benefits and disadvantages to the customer and the supermarket take a look at our mini-website about e-commerce.


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Online Supermarket