I really enjoy grocery shopping and had some reservations about letting someone else pick my groceries for me particularly when it comes to the quality of meat and produce and what would happen if something I ordered was not in stock and they did a substitution for me as I have brand preferences for certain grocery items. However, the potential time-saving benefit of Provigo’s Click & Collect service is too appealing to not give it a go. Below is a review of my first and second test drives. I placed my order online both times. It is possible to do it by phone. The first time, I did a large grocery on my regular grocery day and ordered from almost every aisle and counter including produce, deli, fish, meat and frozen foods. The second time I used it was in an effort to save time after deciding to have company over for an impromptu weeknight dinner.
How it works
1 – Create an Account
- Create an account or sign in with a partner account like Joe Fresh
- Link your PC points
- Make sure the correct store location is selected for you
- Update (Dec2018): The PC Express app is available for online shopping at Maxi and Provigo and it works very well – much quicker and easier than going through the website.
2 – Ready to Shop
- Load your PC points (if applicable). Being able to view the offers and add them to your cart does not mean that the offers are loaded – you need to click the “Load Offers” button.
- Time your purchase and pick up time. The price you pay for your items is based on the pick up time so be aware of the expiration date of specials. For example, since a number of specials tend to end on a Wednesday, you may be disappointed if you place your order on Tuesday and pick it up Thursday or Friday.
- There are 7 ways to shop for items and add them to your cart:
- Search by keyword
- Flyers & Deals (products on promotion)
- Most shopped (further divided into regular and occasional purchases) – this is based on your personal shopping history
- My Lists
- PC Plus Offers
- By aisle
- By brand (accessible towards the end of the home page – click the Provigo logo at the top of the page to access)
- Once you have added all your items to the cart:
- Proceed to checkout
- Confirm -that the correct pick-up location is selected
- Indicate if you will be using your own reusable grocery bags
- Indicate if someone else will be picking up the groceries
- Select your pick-up time
- You will receive an order confirmation e-mail.
- You will receive an e-mail informing you that your order is ready for pick up and of any substitutions.
3 – Collect your groceries
- Park in one of the designated spots
- Call the number.
- Your groceries will be brought out to your car and transferred into your reusable grocery bags if you are using them. Otherwise, plastic bags will be used.
Good To Know
1 – Products
- Descriptions and nutritional information have been included.
- Unit prices are displayed along with the total price for products.
- Promotions on products are flagged using black and purple circles.
- There is a huge selection of products available online. There were only 2 things available in store (a specific brand of mozzarella and a specific brand of sunscreen) that I was not able to select online. I ended up picking them up in store as I had to see Customer Service about my order (more on that later).
- Some kitchenware is available – you need to access it through the brands section (e.g. Everyday Essentials) which can be found towards the end of the home page or do a keyword search.
2 – Placing Your Order
- You need to place your order at least 2 hours prior to the start of your pick-up time slot.
- Pay attention to the sale expiration date as your pick up time may impact what you end up paying so make sure your pick-up time occurs before the sale expiration date.
- The timing of your order and pick-up slot may impact the availability of products. If it’s not a good day to do groceries in store, e.g. just after the weekend when stocks are depleted, it’s not a good day to do Click & Collect. On these days, it’s probably better to do groceries in store so you can adapt your list according to what’s available and of good quality. For our impromptu dinner, I decided to Click & Collect as I had to pick my kids up from daycare after work, have their hair cut, and be home by 5 for our company. Due to the timing (ordered Tuesday morning for Tuesday afternoon pick-up), 3 out of the 7 items were out of stock.
- Be specific – I thought club pack ground beef meant club sized (i.e. large) so was expecting 2 kg of ground beef but only ended up with 2 small packets of 500g. There is a notes section which I will use next time around to specify the quantity by weight and not only the number of packages.
3 – Order Confirmation & Pick-Up
- When you receive the email notification, it will list the substitutions made or items not available. They also called me to let me know what substitutions had been made and to confirm that these were acceptable. I was able to make some changes and select my own alternatives. I was also able to add a couple of more items that I had forgotten.
- The pick-up fee ($3 or $5) depends on the time slot and includes the cost of plastic bags. You can opt to use your own reusable grocery bags. The cost of the plastic bags will not be waived. I opted to use my own reusable bags. They put all of my groceries into their tubs and then transferred them to my bags.
- To save even more time, use grocery bins and arrange them in your trunk so they are ready to be loaded up.
- Someone else can pick up the order for you. You can indicate this in the notes section or call the store to inform them before pick up. The person picking up may be required to show ID.
4 – Coupons, promotions, and PC points:
- To use coupons, you will need to go into the store and see Customer service.
- The PC Plus points earned will reflect on your in-store receipt at the time of pick up once the order has been finalized. The points will read as “0” online on the checkout screen.
Room for Improvement
- The website interface is not as user friendly and intuitive as it could be. It took some time to hunt around and find what I needed. For example:
- The link to the Contact Us page is located all the way down at the bottom right of the screen.
- There are 7 ways to shop but the links are scattered and do not appear on each page. It would be good to have a short cut menu pinned to the top of the page so that you can access each option quickly.
- The available kitchenware is not easy to view. You need to access the products by keyword search or through the brands section and even then not everything available is easily viewed. Kitchenware should have a dedicated section as one of the aisles.
- The Live Chat option, which is the most efficient form of communication when ordering your groceries online, is only available on the checkout screen. It needs to be available throughout the process. It should at minimum be available on the Contact Us page. Ideally, a “Live Chat” button would be pinned to the side along with the “Provide feedback” button. The second time I placed an order, the live chat was not available at all. Each time I clicked the link, it redirected to FAQs. When I called to enquire as to why, I was told that it would be available as of 10 am to 8 pm even though the website says it is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
- “My Lists”: You can create your own shopping lists with different names. This could be a useful feature if some improvements were made. Once you have added your items to your list, there is no option to add all items from the list to the cart so you have to do it one item at a time which seems like a duplication of effort. There needs to be an “Add all Items” or a check box method so you can select what to add and apply an action in bulk.
- The PC points earned should be reflected on the check out screen, even if it is projected (you may not receive all the points you are expecting due to potential stock issues for example). This way you will know that your offers are properly loaded. Update to post on 25Aug2017: this has been changed – PC points are now visible at checkout.
- There were some payment and PC point glitches:
- On the first test drive, because some of the items I ordered were out of stock, my total order did not add up to what I was expecting, even with the buffer I had given myself so I almost missed out on a large number of PC points and it took some time to resolve. Instead of a quick matter of collecting my groceries, I was at the store for a total of 25 minutes. Customer service worked with me to resolve it on site out so I left satisfied with the resolution.
- On the second test drive, there were issues with the credit card transaction not going through (this worked perfectly on the first test drive). Because I did not want to be late for an appointment I did not have time to go into the store to sort it out and had to leave and return afterwards. The credit card went through with no issues once it was passed in store. Again, not an ideal situation but they did compensate me with a $25 gift card to put towards my groceries which I appreciated.
There are a few improvements which need to be made to the website and the execution but I’m keeping in mind that it is a new service and there is a learning curve. While I will continue to do most of my grocery shopping in store because I like to see and feel the products before purchasing and because I just like doing groceries, I will definitely use the service again as Click & Collect has a lot of merits:
- The produce, meat, eggs, and fish were of good quality and I had no complaints.
- It saves money: you know how much you are spending as you add items to your cart and will be less inclined to impulse buy. At stores like Provigo, you can pop in for milk and leave with a patio set.
- It saves time: My regular grocery run has me at the store after work around 15h50 and in the driveway by 17h30. With the Click & Collect service’s first test drive, I arrived at the store at 15h50 and was home and had unloaded the car by 16h30 even with the delays due to the points issue.
- If the kids are with me and the system works as it should, I can get a full load of groceries without unbuckling their seat belts – this will be useful when I need to do a grocery run between between school and daycare pick-ups and dinner time.
- Good service and training: time and effort has been invested in the training of the employees. They were pleasant and professional and worked with me to address the issues appropriately and to my satisfaction. I used all 3 methods of communication: e-mail, telephone, and live chat and the service I received was consistently good across the board.
What do you think of the Clic & Collect service? Will you be using it regularly? If you haven’t tried it yet, will you? Please let me know by commenting below.
Access the Click and Collect service here: https://www.provigo.ca/
The official FAQ section can be found here: Click and Collect FAQs
P.S. Looking for more ways to save time? Read: