Think you can’t score good deals when doing your grocery shopping online? Check out our comparison of the online grocers in town.
Disclaimer: the writer pays for a LiveUp! and Prime Now membership. Opinions expressed are the writer’s own.
Even with an NTUC or Sheng Siong in your estate, it’s hard to resist the appeal of online grocery shopping. Besides being convenient, online groceries offer great variety, tempting deals, and comparable prices to real-world supermarkets.
It’s easy to assume that online groceries are more expensive, but prices don’t vary much among basic perishables – even when they’re on sale.
|Basket price comparison between supermarkets|
|RedMart||Amazon Prime Now||Fresh by HonestBee||FairPrice||ShengSiong|
|Gardenia Enriched White Bread (400g)||$2.00||not available||not available||$2.00||$2.00|
Chew’s Newly Laid Eggs
N&N Large Eggs
|Meiji fresh milk (2L)||$5.80 (on sale)||$5.80 (on sale)||$5.80 (on sale)||$5.80 (on sale)||$5.80|
|Kee Song boneless chicken breast (300g)||$3.25||$3.25||$3.25||$3.25||not available|
*Prices are accurate as of 28 March 2019
And just like real-world shopping, you can score good deals on non-basic items too.
So if prices are similar amongst digital grocers, which one should you be buying from? It helps to examine benefits beyond the price tag. Online supermarkets aren’t just for groceries; they’re a way to save time and money too.
We compared the key differences between the 4 most recognized online groceries in Singapore: RedMart, Amazon Prime Now, HonestBee, and Sheng Siong Online.
|Comparing the top online grocers in Singapore|
|Redmart||Amazon Prime Now||HonestBee||AllForYou by ShengSiong|
What They Have
|Household & kitchen supplies||Household & kitchen supplies||Health & beauty||Household & kitchen supplies|
|Personal care products||Personal care products||Baby products||Personal care products|
|Pet supplies||Electronics||Pet supplies||Baby products|
|Baby and kids products and toys||Pet supplies||Food delivery||Health & wellness products|
|Toys and hobbies||Laundry delivery|
|$5.99 for orders below $40||$5.99 for 2-hour delivery for orders under $40||$4.99 for orders below the store’s minimum spend||$6 for orders below $100|
|$3.99 for orders $40 – $100||$9.99 for 1-hour delivery||Free if you meet the store’s minimum spend||Free shipping for orders over $100|
|Free for orders over $100||Free 2-hour delivery for orders over $40||$3.99 concierge fee|
|Delivery Time||1 – 3 days, depending on availability of items||Same day 1-hour or 2-hour delivery||From same-day to next-day delivery||From same-day delivery to 2-day delivery, depending on availability of items|
|Membership Programme||LiveUp||Prime (required)||Instead of a membership programme, HonestBee has a Rewards system|
|Free delivery for orders over $40||Free 2-hour delivery for orders over $40|
|5% rebate on all delivered orders||Free international delivery for orders > $60|
|Extra 3% rebate with a Citibank credit card||Prime Video|
|Perks from Lazada, Netflix, and other online services||Twitch Prime|
RedMart – Best Rebates
- Wide variety of groceries, household items, and specialty items
- Similar prices to physical supermarkets
- Free shipping over $40 and 5% rebate on every delivery with a LiveUp membership
- Delivery can take up to 2 days if you buy from third-party merchants
- Free delivery over $100 without a LiveUp membership
- Lazada app provides a poorer shopping experience compared to the old RedMart app
RedMart carries a wide range of groceries and daily essentials that include basic perishables, gourmet food items, and beverages by the carton. Prices for these are similar to your nearby NTUC or Cold Storage, especially for the house brand.
Besides the basics, RedMart also offers beauty products, pet supplies, and home items from a number of third-party merchants. On top of weekly groceries, I’ve used RedMart to purchase specialty items like incense, a toaster, and pocket Moleskine notebooks.
RedMart’s delivery fees are quite reasonable at $3.99 for orders between $40 – $100. You get it for free for orders over $100. The drawback is that it takes 1-3 days for delivery, depending on the items you bought.
Of the online groceries compared in this piece, I use RedMart the most because of my LiveUp! Membership. The $49.90 annual membership seems like a lot, but the perks outweigh the costs: free delivery for orders over $40, and a 5% rebate on every delivered order.
And because I use my Citi PremierMiles Visa Credit Card, I get an extra 3% rebate on my orders! That adds up to 8% off my groceries, every time.
Amazon Prime Now – Best For Digital Entertainment Fans
Amazon Prime Now Pros:
- Same-day delivery
- Similar prices to physical supermarkets
- Free international shipping from Amazon US
- Free access to Prime Video and Twitch Prime
Amazon Prime Now Cons:
- Requires an Amazon Prime Now membership at $2.99/month
- Delivery can take up to 4 hours, depending on where you live
Amazon Prime Now got everyone’s attention when it came to Singapore with a 2-hour delivery service. During its launch, we checked how Prime Now’s prices compare to other supermarkets and found that they have the lowest overall price.
A year later, Prime Now’s prices are still rather competitive, and they offer a rich item selection beyond groceries. Besides household goods, you can also buy clothing, electronics, and books.
It’s also hard to beat the convenience of same-day delivery, though not all areas of Singapore get what they need in 2 hours. In my neck of the woods, I can only get delivery slot 4 hours after placing my order.
At the time it was launched, you could use Prime Now without signing up for a membership. Today, you need to be a Prime Now member, which costs $2.99/month.
Besides fast delivery, a Prime Now membership includes an underrated perk: free access to Prime Video! Think Netflix, but with its own roster of original shows such as Man in the High Castle.
In comparison, a LiveUp membership only gives you 2 months of free Netflix, after which you pay at least $10.98/month. If TV marathons are important to you, Prime Now offers the better groceries-and-TV bundle.
HonestBee – Best All-Round Delivery Service
- Get groceries and goods delivered from 50+ stores
- Get laundry delivered in 2 days
- Earn points for every grocery, food delivery, or laundry purchase
- No membership fees
- $3.99 concierge fee for all purchases
- Items aren’t always available
HonestBee works a little differently from the typical online supermarket. In addition to their own grocery selection at Fresh By Honestbee, HonestBee brings you items from over 50 stores, including Wine Connection, Pet Lovers Centre, and ZAC Butchery.
It’s better to think of HonestBee as an online concierge service that saves you the trouble of visiting different stores. Just select what you need, and present an alternative if your first choice isn’t available. You can get your order the same day or the following day, depending on the store’s availability.
Although HonestBee lets you purchase from a wide range of stores, you have to meet each store’s minimum spend (usually $40) to get free delivery. Otherwise, delivery costs $4.99.
In addition, you have to pay a $3.99 concierge fee per store. For example, if you’re ordering from FairPrice and Pet Lovers Center at the same time, your total concierge fee comes to $7.98.
Besides groceries, HonestBee also has a 2-day laundry delivery service, which saves you the trouble of bringing winter coats and other bulky items to the dry cleaner’s. There’s no minimum order or delivery fee for laundry either; just pay the $3.99 concierge fee.
HonestBee also has a food delivery service, though you’ll have to download a separate app for it.
In terms of perks, you get reward points for every grocery order, laundry delivery, or food delivery you make. Use these rewards to offset your next purchase, or to get vouchers from your favorite store.
If you dislike membership fees, and use delivery services infrequently, HonestBee is the better choice. It’s also a great option if you want to order from a store that doesn’t have their own delivery service.
On the flipside, there’s no way to get the $3.99 concierge fee waived, but that’s the price you pay for convenience.
AllForYou: ShengSiong Online – Best For Low Prices
Sheng Siong Online Pros:
- Same low prices and variety as Sheng Siong stores
- Same day delivery, available daily
- No membership fees
Sheng Siong Online Cons:
- Free delivery requires a minimum order of $100
- No other rewards or benefits
- No mobile app
For fuss-free online groceries, you can’t go wrong with Sheng Siong Online’s All For You. Think of it as the digital version of shopping at your local Sheng Siong. It has the same wide variety of fresh produce, meats, and pantry staples, at the same low prices you’ve come to expect. Plus, you’ve got the added bonus of having them delivered to your door!
Deliveries are free for orders over $100, which makes it a good choice for bulk purchases or for restocking your fridge. You can even get same-day delivery if you placed your order 3 hours before your chosen time slot.
There are no memberships or fees required, other than a $6 flat shipping fee for orders below $100. You can even save if you pay with a POSB Everyday Card, which gives you a 5% cash rebate!
If you can’t be bothered with memberships, and just want a simple shopping experience, Sheng Siong Online is an excellent choice.
Which online grocer is best for you depends on your lifestyle habits. If you enjoy Amazon’s all-round digital entertainment offerings, then Amazon Prime may be best for you. If you regularly dry clean or order food delivery, then accumulating points with HonestBee may provide the best value.
More importantly, once you’ve narrowed down your online grocer of choice, be sure to pay with the right credit card to earn as many rewards – be they air miles or cashback – from your online shopping.
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By Lauren Dado
Lauren has been a content strategist and digital marketer since 2007. She writes personal finance stories to help Singaporeans save money. Her work has appeared in publications like Her World, Asia One, and Women’s Weekly.