Banks. Now Grocery Stores? What Next?

I’ll share a secret, which obviously will not be a secret any longer. I actually don’t mind going grocery shopping. It feels like a secret because Mrs. App and I debate this each weekend. It’s a nice back and forth of, “No, it’s not a big deal. You can go to the grocery store today.” Or, “I’ll go, but you have the kids.” Or, “Wait, I have the kids? You take the kids. Where are the kids?!”

Then it’s the blue or red cart debate with Toddler App. The visit to the lobsters. Oh… is there a run on lobsters in Glendale? Their tank has usually one really sad, lonely lobster. Next, off to the free cookie. Thank goodness, I’m almost out of the produce section. The long checkout line, which is followed by watching my groceries get thrown together in a pre-ripped plastic bag. No, that’s fine. The dish soap, lettuce and frozen popsicles should go in the same bag. Maybe in your house, the dish soap goes in the fridge with the perishables. Sorry, I served nearly five years at Stop & Shop in beautiful Chelsea, Massachusetts.

It’s not all bad. Toddler App gets to ride the horse for a penny. There’s an adult beverage section, and I get to make my weekly state donation… I mean check my lottery scratch tickets. Yes, I know there’s an app for checking Colorado Lottery tickets, but I really enjoy having the cashier scan them for me. The reality is, I would just rather be hanging with the kiddos than spending 90 minutes at the grocery store.

So, we tried online grocery shopping. I think I’m hooked. First up, Instacart. We picked King Soopers for our order, however Instacart offers Whole Foods, Costco, and others. I didn’t test, but apparently buying in bulk from Costco is allowed without a membership. Good to know. We created our grocery list, including substitutions. It was fairly straightforward.

One great thing about Instacart and Home Shop from King Soopers is the total calculates while you shop. Try accomplishing that feat while juggling free cookie crumbs in aisle three! Instacart assigns the order to a personal shopper who retrieves the order from King Soopers, and delivers to your door. During shopping, Instacart sends alerts asking for substitution approvals and provides a delivery time.

Think of it this way. You hand your grocery list to a stranger, tip them 20 percent of the bill, ask them to send you texts while they shop and ask them to be back within ‘x’ period of time. The downside, the grocery prices seem high, and then add in delivery fee and tip. Instacart advises that their prices may be higher, but I’m not sure there was a huge cost to time savings. Nonetheless, a guy named Jeff showed up with our groceries as ordered.

Next, we tried Home Shop from King Soopers. There are some similarities between Instacart and Home Shop, such as easy to order through their sites and delivery times are reasonable. There were a few things that stuck out with Home Shop over Instacart, such as the prices were the same as in store (including weekly specials), ability to create a weekly list and push the items to the checkout cart, delivery fees were lower and a larger selection of items.

I think we’ll continue the Home Shop service. The kiddos will miss the free cookies, but will not complain when we hit the pool or zoo instead of the grocery store. It feels nice to pull into the driveway a few minutes before the delivery van shows up with your groceries. I haven’t stepped inside a bank in a long time. Grocery store. It was nice knowing you! Call me if you fill the lobster tank.

I don’t believe I’m alone in checking my phone throughout the day. Waiting in a line. Walking to my car. On the treadmill. While pouring my fourth cup of coffee. All the time. I’m not sure what I’m expecting to see. In fact, there was a moment in June that I checked USA Today, Twitter, Sports Illustrated and my email, then realized nothing changed since I checked them last. It felt as though I reached the end of the Internet.

As an experiment, I enabled an app called Checky. It runs in the background, and I’m convinced it drains my battery, but it records how many times the phone is checked. To my surprise, on day two of running the app, I checked my phone 92 times. 92! I entered my passcode 92 times. I checked it every 10 minutes while I was awake. Do you think your eyes are always pointing down to your phone? Try this exercise! Yikes, I (we) need to be more present.

I’ve mentioned in the past that it is a good practice to embrace cloud solutions for storage, music and photos, but share the content amongst a few apps. The news in June that the app, Lastpass, a password storage app, was hacked was concerning. As consumers, we’re not reviewing the security data sheets of our storage apps. OK, maybe there are a few outliers that enjoy reading agreements and 60 page security briefs. Just know, that these sites are targets. Have your passwords and content readily accessible from your preferred sites in case a breach does happen. If you are in need of changing and or improving your passwords, check out: http://goo.gl/qCLwcE.

I’m off to change my password from 12345 to something stronger. Maybe 54321. Enjoy the sunshine!

Do you have a favorite app you’d like to share? Contact Brian at brian@brianzabro ski.com, on Twitter @BrianZab or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/brianzab.

Brian, a Corporate Account Executive with NetSuite, has spent nearly 20 years in the telecommunications and software industry. Businesses often have the same concerns: How do I increase my revenue and profit? How do I attract great talent? Am I easy to do business with? Is it simple to access my business information? If you’re a business that would like to learn how Box, GoPro, Groupon and FitBit have used NetSuite to answer these questions, then please contact Brian.

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