02279: First MetroMart Grocery Experiment

After seeing a number of Facebook ads (aside: mobile targeting, probably location-based) advertising their service, we took a gamble on MetroMart today. Between the website and the app, once can order grocery items and other essentials for delivery to your home. They're strongly affiliated with SM for now so you'll see a lot of SM-related brands in their roster and I'm pretty sure their delivery areas will also be related to SM locations.

The ordering process is simple enough - the website and the app provide access to a curated list of items available. For grocery items, most of them are store brand items under SM Bonus and then only the more popular retailers. They have their own categories for food but then it becomes easier to use the search function to isolate items quickly. You get a running total of your purchases in your cart and you can opt for cash or credit part payment.

It's nice to shop for groceries at home since you never run into the problem of forgetting whether or not you're out of something before you buy. Despite my best efforts to shop responsibly, I tend to double-up on long-term stuff like soap, shampoo and all that fun stuff. This way  it's a little easier for me not to over-spend. They sort of make up for that given you have to deal with fixed quantities of other items like all meat is sold in 1 kilo increments and vegetables are in set bundles and mostly focused on Dizon Farms items. But with the app I actually get to make more conscious decisions based on price of goods and comparing different options.

Credit card  purchases authorize 10% more than the estimated rate to make up for differences with weight or item availability. You can indicate if you want the personal shopper to make decisions on their own when items requested aren't available or you can specify they call you first. On the whole it's a nicely flexible system as your final bill is only determined upon final check-out. Rates are supposedly the same as in-store but you do pay for a delivery fee.

But MetroMart is at best a supplement for your grocery efforts but never a replacement. Basic goods are there, but then if you have particular brands you prefer or lower traffic items that you need then you won't get it. Thus no problem for getting canned corn but don't expect to find jars of olives and capers. There's different Mama Sita food mixes but no McCormick rice cooker mixes. And so on and so forth. But given our back and forth between BGC and our weekend gaming schedules, this may be a decent option for making sure we always have stuff to cook instead of ordering out so much.

And if you like to maximize things like rewards points from your SM Advantage card and such, the system does not provide options for such benefits thus far. So for this I just banked on whatever points I get through the use of my BPI Credit Card.

Promised delivery time is 90 minutes but on weekends I expect delays. The shopper called me to let me know that they'd be delayed given high volume and our total time from ordering to delivery was over two hours. But if you're just home, it should be too much of a problem - at least you didn't have to go out in the traffic.

we'll probably use MetroMart periodically but still supplemented by in-person grocery trips when we can in order to get quirkier items not in the ordering options for some reason.