Although I am a frequent user of the online food delivery services available in Shanghai, I haven’t tried the online grocery ordering & delivery until this weekend. The biggest reason is I didn’t understand how it all works. If you order fresh items such as milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, how is it kept at an appropriate food safe temperature? The same for frozen items. The delivery folks I see around town are usually on bikes. How long and how far around the city would the ice cream I ordered be traveling and what shape would it be in once I receive it? I also like to pick out my own items such as fruit and vegetables, check them out, ordering online I am letting someone else pick them out. Those are some of the reasons that prevented me from ordering online.
I received a coupon in the mail… take RMB 25 off my order. I am a sucker for coupons and it was the sign I needed to give it a try. I ordered some fruit, bread, cheese, vegetables, a frozen pizza (to test the system) and I even was brave enough to order chicken breasts. I ordered from www.smartdirect.cn. They offer a 2 hour delivery window that you select. Delivery is free is you order a certain amount RMB 100 (Approx. $15) Their web site is pretty fancy for China and they have photos and items are somewhat described, this is helpful with the Chinese products to see if it is vegetable, pork, duck or what not. They also offer Marks & Spencer items but unfortunately, as with the store many of the Marks & Spencer items are out of stock often. I placed my order on Saturday and requested delivery on Sunday between Noon-2pm. The order arrived at my door at 1:30pm. I wish I stalked the entrance to see what type of vehicle the items came in if it was a bike or a truck but a 2 hour stakeout is a long time. The frozen and fresh items came in plastic shopping bags. They were still cold and frozen when I received them. My other items, my perishables came in a cardboard box. Pretty clever for this prevented my bread from being crushed by all the other stuff and items that are in the delivery truck (in my mind now it is a truck, with a refrigerated and freezer section..) I received all my items I ordered and the fruit and vegetables look great. Even better than what I can choose from at the market. I am impressed by the quality. I even got a bonus some salami and beef cubes which I didn’t order. I let the company know they gave me these in my order and they are coming back and pick them up.
I will order again online and next time order the case of wine! I don’t have the lug it to the apartment 🙂
I think I have found my new friend, the on