Online grocery shopping has taken off in a huge way in Singapore. Aside from RedMart, NTUC FairPrice online store and Honestbee, there are now a sizeable number of players like Amazon Prime Now and Opentaste.
You could chalk it up to busy schedules, ease of use, or pure laziness, but Singaporeans are increasingly comfortable with ordering daily necessities online.
We compare the available online grocers on delivery fees, lead times and costs of perishables and non-perishables to help you decide which online supermarket to go with.
TOP 7 ONLINE SUPERMARKETS IN SINGAPORE - DELIVERY FEES AND TIMESLOTS
Most delivery fees of online supermarkets in Singapore range around $5 to $7, but if you can consolidate your orders, you will be able to get free delivery above a certain amount for all the online grocers.
Also, certain online supermarkets have a paid membership service, which rewards you with free delivery with no minimum spending if you sign up. RedMart’s subscription service is called LiveUp.
|Delivery fees||Delivery timing|
|RedMart||$5.99 for orders under $60 Free delivery for orders more than $60 (LiveUp members: Free delivery for orders more than $40)||7am to 11pm, daily|
|Honestbee||$4.99 delivery fee + $3.99 concierge fee (depends on how many merchants, and which merchants) Free delivery for orders $50 and above (depends on merchant too)||10am to 11pm, daily|
|NTUC FairPrice Online (FairPrice On)||$7 (Free delivery for orders $59 and above)||8am to 10pm, daily|
|Cold Storage Online||$7 (Free delivery for orders $40 and above)||9am to 9pm, daily (same-day delivery available for orders received from midnight to 3am)|
|Sheng Siong Online (Allforyou)||$6 (Free delivery for orders $100 and above)||Not stated (same-day delivery available for orders made before 4pm)|
|Amazon Prime Now (paid membership)||$5.99 (Free delivery for orders $40 and above)||Monday to Saturday only|
|Opentaste||Normal orders: $4.95 for orders below $49 (Free delivery for orders above $49)
Bulk orders: $4.95 for orders over $75, $6.95 for orders below $75 (Free delivery for orders $150 and above)
|11am to 6pm, daily|
MONEYSMART TIP: USE A GROCERY SHOPPING CREDIT CARD!
There are many credit cards that give you cash back and rebates for grocery shopping - online supermarkets included. Here are the top few cards:
- Citi Cash Back - 8 per cent cash back on groceries
- Maybank Family & Friends Card - 8 per cent cash back on groceries
- Citi SMRT Card - 5 per cent cash back on groceries
- HSBC Visa Platinum Card - 5 per cent cash back on groceries
COSTS OF PERISHABLE GROCERIES FROM ONLINE GROCERY STORES
As of 10 Feb 2020, these are the listed prices of perishables from the online grocers.
|Meji Fresh Milk (2l)||Chew’s Fresh Eggs Low Cholesterol (10 x 60g)||Gardenia Enriched White Bread (400g)||Fresh Chicken Breasts||Avocado (3 per pack)|
|RedMart||$5.90||$2.65||$1.80||$3.25 (300g)||$5.95 (Mexican airflown avocado)|
|Honestbee||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant|
|NTUC FairPrice Online (FairPrice On)||$5.90||$2.65||$2||$3.25 (300g)||$6.65 (Lovacado avocado)|
|Cold Storage Online||$5.90||$2.65||$2||$9.90 (4 pieces with skin)||$3.45 each|
|Sheng Siong Online (Allforyou)||$5.90||$2.65||$2||$2.50 (200g)||$3.99 (MEX avocado)|
|Amazon Prime Now||$5.90||$2.85 (Seng Choon Farm Fresh Eggs)||$2.25 (Gardenia finegrain wholemeal bread)||$3.25 (300g)||$7.29 (Amae avocado)|
|OpenTaste||$3.99 (Fleurieu Low Fat Milk)||$5.99 (House brand – 30 eggs)||–||$5.99 (400g)||$5.99 (Organic avocado shepard Australia)|
Sheng Siong Online seems to offer lower prices for household items. RedMart and FairPrice have comparable price points with the exception of bread and avocadoes. While Opentaste does not offer the common brands, they do have their own house brands and other organic produce.
COSTS OF NON-PERISHABLE GROCERIES FROM ONLINE GROCERY STORES
As of 10 Feb 2020, these are the listed prices of non-perishables from the online grocers.
|Coca-Cola (1.5l)||Kellogg’s Froot Loops Cereal (300g)||Breeze Power Clean Liquid Detergent (3.8kg)||Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips (184.2g)||Lipton Yellow Label Tea (100 x 2g)||Tiger Lager Beer (10 x 320ml)|
|Honestbee||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant||Depends on merchant|
|NTUC FairPrice Online (FairPrice On)||$2.40||$4.95||$12.40||$4.75||$5.65||$21.50|
|Cold Storage Online||$2.40||$4.95||$10.90||$4.75||$5.65||$21.50|
|Sheng Siong Online (Allforyou)||$2.40||–||$10.45||$4.35||$5.53||$21.50|
|Amazon Prime Now||$2.40||–||$10.54||$4.56||–||$21.50|
The price differences are quite slight, however, Sheng Siong does seem to be once again providing lower prices. RedMart’s prices are quite competitive too, especially with their seasonal promotions.
Amazon Prime Now is generally a little more expensive, but they do score in the aspect of being able to deliver within 2 hours.
Opentaste does not have many of the household items that Singaporeans use, but they do have other more atas types like organic beetroot juice and instant quinoa cereal flakes.
*Prices are accurate as of 10 Feb 2020.
Plus, according to fellow writer Eugenia, RedMart also has quite a fuss-free and lenient refund policy. If you find anything damaged/spoilt/missing from your order, you can indicate it immediately via the Lazada app. It’s actually happened to her a few times, and every time, her refund came in with 2 days.
I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that the orders get mixed up, but at least there’s a direct channel to rectify such mistakes.
The main downside to RedMart is that you're only entitled to free delivery if you spend at least $60, which is a higher bar than what many of the other grocery delivery services are offering. RedMart also used to offer same-day delivery, but not anymore.
However, if you're a LiveUp subscriber, the bar for free shipping is lowered to $40 rather than $60. Unfortunately the LiveUp subscription recently doubled in price, it’s now $59.90 to subscribe and some benefits like 8 per cent rebate for Citi cardholders have been removed.
RedMart is recommended for: Busy people who want competitive prices
NTUC FAIRPRICE ONLINE (FAIRPRICE ON)
Good news: Singapore's most popular supermarket also allows you to order goods online from their website, FairPrice On.
The prices are reasonable and the website is easy enough to use, but it’s a little annoying that you have to "chope" delivery slots, usually at least the day before. Delivery hours are 8am to 10pm, and you can choose up to 7 days from your date of order (subject to availability).
NTUC / OCBC Plus! Visa Credit / Debit Card holders get up to 12 per cent off Fairprice purchases.
NTUC Fairprice Online is recommended for: Average Joes and existing NTUC members
COLD STORAGE ONLINE
Cold Storage Online tends to charge higher prices for certain products, so cost will be a key consideration when ordering from them. That being said, some people continue to shop at Cold Storage because they sell certain premium products you might not find at your regular NTUC FairPrice.
They only do same-day delivery for orders placed between midnight and 3am, so unless you do your groceries right before (your very late) bedtime, you'll have to wait till the next day.
Cold Storage Online is recommended for: “Atas” people who want premium products
SHENG SIONG ONLINE (ALLFORYOU)
Well, what do you know, Sheng Siong has also jumped on the online grocery delivery bandwagon with their Sheng Siong Allforyou website.
Sheng Siong happens to be one of Singapore's main budget supermarkets, so you can expect prices to be quite a bit lower, especially for house brand items.
One bugbear is the fact that you only qualify for free delivery if you spend $100 or more, otherwise you get slapped with a $6 delivery charge. Given the fact that most people shop at Sheng Siong to save money, this might be a deterrent.
Another problem is that the site is a bit less search-friendly than most of the others, with products sometimes not appearing if your search term isn't exactly what they're looking for.
On the bright side, you might qualify for same-day delivery within 3 hours if you place your orders before 4pm (depends on your address and availability of slots though), which makes Allforyou a site to keep in mind if you need your groceries urgently.
Sheng Siong Online is recommended for: Those on a budget and/or need their orders delivered asap
AMAZON PRIME NOW
One of Amazon Prime Now's biggest strengths is that you receive your orders in as little as 2 hours (or 1 hour if you're willing to pay $9.99). To enjoy the privilege of free 2-hour delivery for orders above $40, there is a monthly subscription fee of $2.99.
They also have a product range which goes beyond groceries to include electronics, toys, games and more, so it can be convenient to use them if there are other things you need to buy.
Finally, they offer pretty competitive prices on certain products, often lower than one the supermarkets are offering. The minimum spending requirement isn't too high either.
The main inconvenience is that you need to download their application and sign up for an account before you order, so it's not something most users will do for the first time on the fly.
Amazon Prime Now is recommended for: “Kancheong“ spiders who want their stuff delivered now
Honestbee Groceries isn't exactly on online supermarket. Rather, it's a concierge service that lets you order from multiple supermarkets or merchants and have everything shipped to you at once. They also have a super-fast turnaround time of as little as one hour (they offer same-day deliveries for fresh foods).
As far as groceries are concerned, Honestbee is generally more cost-effective if you're using it to order from more than one merchant as you can consolidate the various delivery charges.
One of Honestbee's merchants is NTUC Fairprice. However, if that's the only merchant you want to order from, it would actually be cheaper for you to do so directly at NTUC Fairprice's website.
Honestbee is recommended for: Gourmands who buy groceries from several places
Opentaste markets itself as a seller of wholesale products direct from the farm. That means they sell mostly fresh produce. If the only thing you can cook is instant noodles, you won't find much for you on their site.
When it comes to their fresh produce, they actually do offer some very good deals. So if you usually cook your food from scratch rather than buy pre-made stuff in bottles, they're a good place to order fruit, vegetables and meat from.
The main downsides are that you'll still need to purchase rice and most pre-packaged items like cereal and jam separately, and they deliver within 36 hours, which isn't super fast.
Still, shipping is fairly cheap and you qualify for free shipping if you spend only $49, so it might be worthwhile ordering from them in addition to another grocery website.
Opentaste is recommended for: Discerning home cooks who buy lots of fresh produce.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.