The downsides to Costco online shopping, are things that customers, see as setbacks even though they love to shop in person.
Although online shopping, for busy individuals who are managing work, school, hobbies, and other draining activities is a blessing.
This is because, it offers so much convenience as your groceries are brought right to your doorstep or put into your car at the curbside.
This way, you avoid the stress of walking through crowded grocery aisles and checkout lines with a rickety shopping cart.
However, it is surprising that despite being one of the largest retailers globally, Costco is falling behind in the online shopping scene.
Although the company has had a 3% increase in overall sales in April compared to that of the previous year, its e-commerce comparable sales dropped by 5.9% during the same month.
In fact, Costco is having constant drops in online sales every month this year.
The company, did not provide any reasons for the decrease in its latest earnings report. This article will also explain, The Ways Costco Online Shopping Differs From Their Warehouse.
However, the drop in sales highlights a growing consensus that Costco’s online shopping services have several drawbacks, especially when in comparison to the in-store experience.
Currently, Costco has around 123 million cardholders, so it is not short on members.
However, customers who prefer online shopping might find these downsides discouraging. They may consider switching to their competitors who offer better online shopping services.
In this post, I will be discussing Four reasons why online shopping with Costco may not be worth it for members.
Prices at Costco are Higher
While online shopping offers convenience, Costco members choosing this method might need to spend much more of their money for that convenience.
On its website, it clearly states that products sold online “may have different pricing than the same products sold at your local Costco warehouse”.
Customers have consistently reported that prices are higher online compared to the brick and mortar warehouses.
Take this example, a customer reports that “Just Bare’s Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks cost $17.99 at the warehouse but $22.99 online”.
Many customers have complains that these increase in prices makes shopping through Costco’s website not worth it, as they still have to go to the warehouse to enjoy its discounts on products.
Last year, a customer wrote on Reddit, referring to Costco’s online shopping service, “I mean, at that price level, I have no need for Costco; I might as well buy it from another online grocery store”.
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Costco Online Shipping Fee
It is no longer news that Costco members have to pay between $60 and $120 each year just to shop at the warehouse club.
However, holding a Costco membership card does not come with a free shipping offer.
Costco says the higher prices customers pay online, goes mainly to shipping and handling fees.
The retailer informs customers of a product’s availability at a nearby warehouse for a lower price.
However, for those seeking the best deals, this makes Costco’s online shopping option almost needless because of the extra money they have to pay.
Costco Online Shopping Has Limited Curbside Pickup
During the COVID-19 pandemic, curbside pickup services gained immense popularity as consumers sought safer shopping alternatives.
However, nowadays, Costco seems to have limited or no curbside pickup services available for their customers.
Costco’s curbside pickup services is not as popular as it was during the height of the pandemic, possibly due to changes in customer preferences or operational adjustments by the company.
Meanwhile the absence of widespread curbside pickup may be a drawback for some of their clients. Furthermore, Costco’s extensive in-store shopping experience and competitive pricing continue to attract a loyal customer base.
Customers can order in-store pickup for select electronics and jewelry, but its version to curbside pickup gives rivals that do offer this service an advantage in the online shopping sector.
Product Availability is Different on Costco Online
Costco members who shop online have the option of choosing between two delivery options, which is same-day and two-day delivery.
The items you can purchase will be slightly different depending on which option you choose for delivery.
However, for two-day delivery option, Costco does not offer perishable items like fresh produce, bakery treats, or rotisserie chickens.
But, you can get fresh produce and bakery items with same-day delivery through their Instacart.
While some customers and members may not consider this difference a deal-breaker, it could be a frustrating limitation for some others.
These members will still prefer or need to use the two-day delivery option but still want the flexibility to order more perishable groceries.
Costco Online shopping, provides convenience and flexibility to its members. However, there is a distinction in available items between same-day and two-day delivery options which might influence some customers’ decisions.
Same-day delivery offers access to perishable groceries, while the two-day delivery lacks this feature. Additionally, Costco remains a popular choice for millions of members who value the variety of products and competitive prices available both in-store and online.
Costco strives to cater to diverse shopping preferences, ensuring a satisfying experience for all its valued customers, whether they prefer the convenience of online shopping or the excitement of exploring the physical warehouse.
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