Many people have turned to online food shopping during the coronavirus pandemic, opting to switch to a home delivery or click and collect service for their weekly groceries, rather than visiting the shops in person.
But, with Covid restrictions tightening across the UK, you may be struggling to find a supermarket slot online.
Here are a few tips and tricks to try and secure an online food shopping slot.
If you tend to change the day you do your shopping each week and don’t always plan ahead, you may find that when you come to book a slot, they’ve all been taken.
If you work shifts or don’t always know the best time you’ll be able to pick up a click and collect order, booking ahead may be tricky, but if you’re able to plan the best time slot for either a home delivery or collection, you’re in with a better chance of securing a slot.
It’s also worth noting that delivery slots tend to go quicker than click and collect, so if you are struggling to find a free delivery slot, but click and collect would work for you, then this is worth taking a look at.
Book a recurring slot
If you know for certain that you will be available at the same time and day each week, then booking a recurring slot could work in your favour.
However, due to the influx of people turning to online grocery shopping during the pandemic, some supermarkets may not now offer this option - or it may only be available to customers who have had a slot for a long time. It’s worth checking with your chosen supermarket chain to see if this is an option.
Find out when new slots will be available or times when the queue is quieter
During the first UK-wide lockdown in March, shoppers found themselves in long online queues when trying to book a delivery or click and collect slot.
However, some supermarkets may release extra slots or put you in a queue, which may move faster at certain times.
If you’re an early bird, it’s worth checking first thing in the morning to see if the queue to book a slot is quieter, as this tends to be the case.
Keep an eye out for cancellations
Although you may have looked on your local supermarket website to find a delivery or click and collect slot, either days or weeks in advance, it’s worth checking on a daily basis, if you are able to do so. Sometimes previously taken slots will become free, usually due to cancellations.
Try a different supermarket
If you’ve been trying to book a slot with the same supermarket branch, it’s worth looking to see if any of the chain’s other branches have free slots nearby, either for delivery or click and collect.
You may also have a favourite supermarket chain, but if it’s proving impossible to find a shopping slot with them online, it’s also a good idea to try other supermarkets too.
Look at local independent food shops
There may be farm shops or small food stores in your local area that you’ve not considered when it comes to getting a grocery delivery or ordering in advance and collecting.
However, a lot of places are offering these options so it’s worth taking a look around as an alternative.