Hundreds of you voted in our poll on whether you would use Amazon to buy your food shopping. Even keen fans of the store seemed reluctant.
As someone who loves buying books, I felt a pang of conscience when a small, independent bookshop on my high street closed.
Why hadn’t I used it instead of buying books on Amazon? But then I remembered that the stock was terrible, the owner grumpy and the opening hours increasingly eccentric.
My narky neighbour was of course an exception and there are a huge range of great independents across the country. But many of us have over the years been drawn to online shops such as Amazon by speed of service and the promise that they can get us pretty much what we want.
John Haslett for one is a confirmed Amazon fan:
‘As Prime members we get free next-day delivery on nearly all we order and in many cases same-day delivery. Additionally, we also get access to Prime Music with more tracks than I could ever listen to and their video, film and TV download/streaming service.’
For John Ward though, Amazon already has too much of a grip on our purchasing habits.
‘Amazon has ruined the book and music trades, been the kiss of death for hardware shops and left little competition for electrical appliances.
‘In every case choice and competition have been eroded and now it’s going to happen all over again with food.’
Many of you, like me and John Haslett, are happy to use Amazon for many things. But food shopping? John is clear: ‘Amazon, yes to the rest, but no to food.’
To be fair, it is the very idea of buying food online he can’t see the point of.
‘I last did one several years ago with Tesco and it almost took longer to find and order what I wanted (a weekly shop) than to visit my nearest Tesco. I also received odd substitutes and some very short sell/use by dates.’
His view is echoed by Malcolm r who cheerfully admits to buying many items online but adds:
‘I prefer looking at food in the flesh and making choices in a food store I regard as of good quality.’
Using Amazon for food: our poll
More than 800 of you voted in our poll on whether you would use Amazon to buy your food online. Just 155 of you said you’d definitely be happy to buy your food from Amazon, while 475 were told us you wouldn’t.
Kenneth Raine has doubts about whether he’d find it good value:
‘If you need to pay to be a Prime member plus £ 6.99/month, then it immediately renders itself uncompetitive. The big four have £1 delivery slots, so why bother with Amazon on food?’
‘On the odd occasion when I food shop online, it has always been delivered promptly at a time of my choosing, free of charge by Waitrose, the only stipulation being a minimum order of £60 and as long as this reliable and dependable service continues. I will continue to buy my food from them.’
Wavechange’s comment did suggest there was one way high street supermarkets might drive him online!
‘At present I prefer to visit supermarkets and shops to buy food. While I have my health, the only thing likely to persuade me to shop online is introduction of piped music in supermarkets.’