[tabi] a new internet grocery store

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 15:10:12 -0400

Hi all,
here's a very interesting article from unclutterer.com
Convenient dry goods delivery from Alice.com

A couple months ago, I was given the opportunity to be a beta-beta
tester for
. (A gamma tester?) It's a dry goods grocery delivery service where you
place an
order online and then have the items shipped directly to your home.
The prices are comparable to what you might find in a big box store like
Costco or
Sam's Club, but the products are sized like what you would buy in a
grocery store
or pharmacy. All with the added convenience of not having to go to a
store (and there
is no charge for shipping). You can set up a shopping list and
reminders, so that
every few weeks or a couple times a year (you set the schedule) you
receive a notification
from Alice.com telling you that you might be getting low on toilet paper
or deodorant
or shampoo.
I've gone shopping on Alice, paid for my order, and received a shipment.
For as much
as I ordered, I was genuinely surprised at how little packaging they
used. It all
fit in a reasonably sized box and the box broke down easily to go into
our recycling
bin. Everything about the process was convenient.
And I think that is why I liked it so much. It's convenient. I'm
incredibly busy
and the last thing I want to do is have to run to the store to pick up
toilet paper
when we inevitably run out at 10:00 at night. Now, I get a notice once a
month asking
me if I need toilet paper, and if my supplies are low, I order more. I
make a few
clicks with my mouse in less than a minute and toilet paper appears two
days later.
Right now, since they're still in beta, they're only carrying the major
brands. But,
they're in negotiations with smaller manufacturers to increase their
inventory. They
actually carried my favorite brand of all of the supplies I ordered, so
I didn't
notice that anything was missing. During testing, though, I noted one or
two types
of products that weren't on their inventory and
 after I suggested the product it appeared on the list a few days later.
So, I know
they're listening to consumer requests. The interface is easy to use,
too, and these
cute little cartoon people guide you through the site:
I think about my friends who have infants at home and barely have time
to shower,
and how nice it would be for them if diapers just appeared on their
doorsteps. I
think about my friends who live in downtown New York who have to take 20
minute train
rides to get to the closest big box store, and how much time it would
save them if
their dry good items could simply be delivered. Since I buy the vast
majority of
my food through our local farmer's market, Alice.com saves me from
having to make
a second shopping trip to the grocery store. It's extremely convenient
for busy people.
It removes an errand/chore from my weekly schedule and allows me to
spend that time
doing something that matters more to me. It's simple and uncluttered,
for my life.
Granted, this service isn't for everyone. If you like going to the
grocery store
and smelling products and first touching what you're going to buy, then
you won't
like getting your dry goods delivered. It also takes 15 to 20 minutes to
put together
your initial order (at least that is what it took me) which isn't much
of a time
saver on that first trip. Subsequent trips are just seconds, however,
since you have
an established shopping list. Also, if you buy a lot of small production
goods, it
might take a while for those to become available as contracts are
negotiated between
Alice and those manufacturers.
What do you think about dry goods being delivered to your door? To me,
it's a lot
like Netflix or Amazon, just with the specific grocery angle. If you're
in trying it for yourself, you can sign up for a free account and be a
beta tester,
too, at

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