The ‘big shop’ made easy with a virtual trolley and the click of a button

A Dublin family freed up time by switching to grocery shopping online, and now that they’ve tried Tesco Click+Collect, they're sold on the convenience
The ‘big shop’ made easy with a virtual trolley and the click of a button

Of Click+Collect, Doug Lappin says, "It's great. You get a one- or a two-hour slot for your grocery collection so you're not nailed down to an exact time, you have flexibility." Photographs: Conor Mulhern

Tesco Click+Collect is helping one Dublin family to make the most of their time — and their budget.

Doug Lappin and his family live in Terenure. He and his wife met while studying law and today have four children ranging in ages from 10 to one.

Both work full-time, Lappin as a solicitor working in insurance claims and his wife Amanda is a solicitor in a law firm. Like many people, their week is a hybrid of home and office-based work. Life is pretty full on right now but smart working helps them to achieve their best possible work-life balance.

“I do four days from home and one in the office, while my wife is in the office more. I tend to start at 6am and I’ll finish work at 5pm, while she gets up later but tends to work in the evenings,” he explains.

What with school and child minders to get to, and after-school activities and play dates to organise, smart shopping is essential too.

Tesco’s Click+Collect has helped the couple establish a shopping routine that works best for their family. “We generally do one big shop a month with Tesco online, which costs around €300, and then we’d do a smaller shop once a week for things we need,” explains Lappin.

"Tesco have installed new collection points you drive into and there is a QR code on your parking bay", explains Lappin of the collection process.
"Tesco have installed new collection points you drive into and there is a QR code on your parking bay", explains Lappin of the collection process.

The couple’s big monthly shop takes place right after pay day. “We will bulk buy all our detergents and all our meats, for example. We’ll get maybe 18 chicken fillets and put them in the freezer. We started doing our big shop online before the pandemic and had it delivered. It’s too big for us to manage on our own at this stage,” he says.

“The big benefit of online is the time it saves you but there are other advantages too. For example, as you shop online you see what you are spending. There’s a tally figure at the side, so you know exactly how much you are spending as you go,” he explains.

He’s not nearly as likely to pick up impulse purchases online as he is in store and, what’s more, with online, there’s no “pester power” either. “The kids don’t know you’re shopping,” he smiles.

During the pandemic the couple switched from Tesco Home Delivery to Tesco Click+Collect.

“The Tesco delivery drivers are super friendly and we used to have the craic with them but as more and more people were booking deliveries as a result of the pandemic, sometimes we found we couldn’t get a delivery slot for goods as quickly as we wanted, so we decided to do Click+Collect instead,” says Lappin.

With it, he goes online to do his big grocery shop as normal, but instead of delivery, opts for the Click+Collect service.

Shopping online this way means we can organise meal plans better, which frees up even more time

“It’s great. You get a one- or a two-hour slot for your grocery collection so you’re not nailed down to an exact time, you have flexibility,” he says.

“You drive to the special Click+Collect parking bay at your store during your time slot. Depending on your collection store there’s either a staff member in a van who will bring your shopping to your car, or recently Tesco have installed new collection points you drive into and there is a QR code on your parking bay. You take a picture of it with your phone — it’s on the driver’s side, so you don’t have to get out, and that links you through to the guys in store. You key your name and car reg into your phone and they come out, maybe two or three minutes later, with your trolley,” he explains.

“The goods come out in blue crates, the same as the delivery van uses. You can purchase bags with your order but I brought my own. You’re in and out in about five or six minutes.

Lappin brings his won bags, helping to cut down on waste.
Lappin brings his won bags, helping to cut down on waste.

“It’s really easy to register for the service and it stores your bank card details, so you don’t have to keep putting those in. It also holds your shopping list from before, so you can simply update it to get all the goods you regularly buy automatically. It will also remind you of things you might have forgotten based on your previous shop, which is handy,” he says.

It’s easy to navigate through the site too.

“It’s laid out in categories similar to supermarket aisles, so you’ll find cleaning products, or fresh produce, or sweets and confectionary, all grouped together. I find it’s actually much easier to not buy sweets and confectionary online than it is in the store, which is good,” he adds.

“Timewise it’s a lot quicker and budget wise, it’s a lot easier to manage. You know exactly how much you’re spending as you go, rather than finding out at a cash register. Also, for us, shopping online this way means we can organise meal plans better too, which frees up even more time.” 

The variety of goods available is the same as in store and, as happens in store, if a particular item you’re looking for is out of stock, the system will suggest an equivalent substitute — which you don’t have to take, of course. “Equally, if on the rare occasion something happens, like cracked eggs or a bruised apple, they just credit your account, no bother,” he explains.

Lappin is particularly impressed by the emphasis Tesco Online puts on long sell buy dates too. “With things like yogurts or fresh foods that are time sensitive, you don’t want them to go out of date before you get a chance to eat them,” he says.

One of the new collection points Tesco has installed.
One of the new collection points Tesco has installed.

“With Tesco Online that doesn’t happen as they select goods that are the freshest and have the longest use by dates just like you would yourself if you were shopping in store. That’s really handy with multipack buys in particular because it means they won’t go out of date before you get to eat them.” Now that he has tried Tesco Click+Collect, he’s sold on it.

“Timewise it’s a lot quicker and budget wise, it’s a lot easier to manage. You know exactly how much you’re spending as you go, rather than finding out at a cash register. Also, for us, shopping online this way means we can organise meal plans better too, which frees up even more time.” 

Discover more about Tesco Click+Collect - tesco.ie/clickandcollect

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