Shopping for groceries in-store or online in Singapore

Shopping for groceries in-store or online in Singapore

From Alan Steve

With the rise of online shopping trends everywhere, especially in the pandemic, you might have found yourself wondering whether you should try those online grocery supermarts as well. Seeing that a lot of people find sho

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With the rise of online shopping trends everywhere, especially in the pandemic, you might have found yourself wondering whether you should try those online grocery supermarts as well. Seeing that a lot of people find shopping a lot more convenient than shopping in person, you might want to try it out too. But everyone has their own cup of tea; some people shop exclusively online and prefer the convenience of not having to leave their comfortable homes at all, while others find that going out and physically picking out their own groceries is what works best for them. Most people nowadays, however, are more flexible and go with both online and in-person grocery shopping, depending on whatever suits them best at the moment.

So now the question is whether online grocery shopping in Singapore is the right choice for you or should you stick to going to supermarkets? We have prepared a comprehensive comparison between them both to help you decide!


Timing is an important factor when it comes to both types of shopping but for different reasons.

Instore Grocery Shopping

When shopping in stores, you must keep in mind the opening and closing hours of the grocery store. Although there are some grocery supermarts in Singapore that are open 24/7, with most stores, you have to be mindful of their timings and cannot visit them too late in the night or too early in the morning.

Plus, if the grocery store is far away, you also have to factor in the time it would take to reach the grocery store. Sometimes that can be inconvenient and costly.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is that on certain days of the week or at certain times of the day when the demand is high, the grocery store is more crowded than usual, and it will take you longer to get your groceries.

Online Grocery Shopping

Although with online grocery stores, you don't usually have to worry about the store is open or not, you do, however, have too early to get a good delivery window or the delivery window of your desires. Some windows get booked much faster than others due to their convenience, and if you are looking to snag one of those windows, you will have to be early.

Product Availability

 There is a difference between the available products when shopping online vs. in stores as well.

Instore Grocery Shopping

The good thing about grocery shopping in person is that you can see for yourself what is available and what is not to avoid being scammed. In addition to that, you get to handpick your own groceries, knowing you got the best of the bunch.

Online Grocery Shopping

Usually, the amount of products available online exceeds that in person. You can find stores catering to multiple diets (including vegan, kosher, keto, halal foods, etc.), and the best part is that you can find them all in one place or from the comfort of your home. It's an added bonus that you don't have to go from store to store in unsuccessful attempts when you can just find everything online. 

However, unfortunately, sometimes, a product listed available online can be unavailable if the store hasn't been updated.

Grocery Delivery

Instore Grocery Shopping

Shopping in grocery supermarts in Singapore, you will have to take the groceries home yourself, whether you take them home on a vehicle or walk. It can be environmentally unhealthy depending on what you choose to go with.

Online Grocery Shopping

You have two options for getting groceries when buying online

1. You can have your groceries delivered to you

2. You can choose to store pick your packed groceries from the store on an errand


There is a vast difference in the convenience that is offered through shopping in person and shopping online. 

Instore Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping in person can often be very inconvenient, and many people tend to put it off or neglect it. This is because it takes a lot of energy, usually wastes a lot of time (waiting in lines and looking for parking), and is generally not a pleasant experience but a necessary one that needs to be carried out.

Online Grocery Shopping

Online shopping is all about convenience. Online grocery shopping has changed the game from saving you the time and trouble of going to the grocery store yourself to having your groceries delivered to your doorstep.


In terms of expenditure, there may or may not be a noticeable difference for you, depending on the types of strategies you use. You can end up saving significantly more if you're careful.

Instore Grocery Shopping

When shopping in stores, you can save up on paying extra for delivery to your home. However, it usually doesn't help you save much because the money you save gets spent on the gas it took to bring you and take you home from the grocery stores anyways unless you're walking.

It's usually harder to avail discounts too, so overall, shopping in stores will not really do you any favors in terms of economic spending unless the delivery to your place is significantly more expensive.

Online Grocery Shopping

In online grocery shopping, although you might have to pay extra for delivery, there are usually more chances to save.

1. Sometimes the store has discounts that apply exclusively online.

2. It also generally makes availing coupons and discount offers much more accessible than in-person.

3. Often, stores have a free delivery policy for orders that surmount to a total over a specific price. So, you can often score a free delivery too.

4. You can choose delivery windows that cost less.

5. You can also choose to pick up your groceries yourself while you're already on an errand for something else.

However, this does not necessarily entail that online grocery is going to be cheaper for sure. Sometimes, specific delivery windows will cost you a lot more compared to shopping in person.


Hence, these are the main differences between online grocery shopping vs. shopping in stores. Hopefully, with the help of these, you can decide what suits you best!

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