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King Soopers, Please Fix Your HomeShop Service


groceries photo
Photo by State Library and Archives of Florida

King Soopers is leaving money on the table.

I tweeted about this a while ago, but thought it was worth expanding into a full blog post.

Now, first, let me say that I haven’t used new shopping services like Instacart, but I agree with Gary Vee (link is a video, you want to go to 6:50)–home shopping gives me more time and that is an extremely precious commodity that I am willing to trade money for.

King Soopers, for readers outside of Colorado, is one of the two major grocery store chains–it’s owned by Kroger, a name that may be more familiar to you.  (The other is Safeway, and they don’t do home delivery to my area.)  The King Soopers online shopping experience, is abysmal.

Let me count the ways:

  1. It’s difficult to find the link from their home page (here it is if you want to try King Soopers HomeShop).
  2. There is no clear delivery map–you have to enter your address and then you find out if they do deliveries to your location.
  3. The UI of the shopping experience hasn’t changed since 2009 (the first time I used it).
  4. Searching is tough–synonyms are not handled (searching for ‘scallions’ returns no produce results, whereas searching for ‘green onions’ does, even though they are the same vegetable).
  5. Product description for produce is unclear. For instance, here is the description some onions: “King Soopers/Onions Yellow Organic Fresh Produce (Each)“, but the price is is by the pound.  So, when I put in 1 into the quantity section, am I getting one onion or one pound of onions?  I don’t know.
  6. Sorting is limited to ‘Brand’ or ‘Description’.  That’s right folks, an ecommerce site where you can’t sort on price.
  7. Browse options are not clear–they have an ‘aisle’ metaphor, but organic produce is in a different category than regular produce.
  8. Product images are spotty.
  9. They don’t have a submit event fire when you hit ‘enter’ in the search box.  To be fair, this issue only affects FireFox.
  10. They don’t have every product a store has.  But wait, aren’t they fulfilling from the same warehouse?  I don’t know.

So, why would you ever use King Soopers HomeShop?  Because home delivery is so dang easy, and spending an extra $11 to not have to go to the store is worth it, especially for a big shopping trip.  There are other reasons as well:

  • No (or far fewer) impulse buys.  Maybe this is the reason they aren’t investing in this product?
  • You can save a list of staples and just re-order it.
  • Did I mention they deliver food to your house?  The drivers have been very nice, and even brought the bags into our house at times.
  • The UI for picking a pickup time is good, and I haven’t encountered any traffic jams.
  • I’ve been happy about the quality of non fungible items I’ve had picked out for me (such as lettuce).
  • They are good about substitutions.  If something you request is out of stock, there are three choices: ‘no substitutions, just omit’ or ‘please substitute’.  If you choose the latter, you can either accept or reject the substitution at delivery.

But the best reason for using HomeShop is the convenience of having your food delivered to you for a reasonable price.  As a busy person, this is huge.

I really really want King Soopers to repair the crappy parts of this service and make it amazing.  Heck, I’ll even consult with you on it.  Home delivery is a win in so many ways–please fix it, King Soopers.