I just did my first shop with Cornershop. All my friends rave about it, but I’ve only just got round to using it.

You see I have a love-hate relationship with shopping. Love designer boutiques, hate supermarkets… Malls devoid of fresh air and natural light make me itch. And shopping with the kids? Don’t even get me started.

What is Cornershop?

Cornershop is basically a one stop shop for all your groceries. So instead of logging onto several different sites or going in person to lots of different stores, you order everything through the same website.

I just tried it and wow, it’s good!

How to order

Firstly, the website is fast, simple and pretty intuitive. It’s worth it alone if it saves me punching my laptop every time I try do a shop on Lider.cl. (I’ll give a zillion pesos to anyone who honestly likes the Lider site).

You log on, enter your details and then choose which shop you want to go to. The shops available depend on where you live. Here’s part of the selection based on my address in Las Condes.

You then add your items to your basket, choose your delivery slot and confirm payment. You’ll then get an email confirmation for each store you bought from.

Delivery

Unlike other online shopping portals, Cornershop is seriously quick. I ordered from four different stores and everything arrived within an hour.

Delivery charges aren’t too excessive, but an annual fee of 60,000 CLP will give you free delivery for orders over 20,0000 CLP. It’s called the ‘Pop’ membership scheme and I reckon it’s worth it.

All in one shop

The variety of shops is pretty good too. There’s a pretty decent selection of supermarkets, pharmacies, gift stores and gourmet grocery stores.

I bought chocolates for my doctor, some random seeds I need for a rather specialist vegan cookie recipe and window cleaning product at the same time. There aren’t many stores which can offer that.

Hoorah – real people!

Another thing I value is that unlike automated online shopping on other sites, here there are real people doing your shop.

I got a call from the man buying my chocolates to check if I’d like them gift wrapped and if so, if I had any preference in terms of wrapping paper colour. The lady looking after my order at Lider rang to check if she should substitute an out of stock item with something similar ‘it’s also organic, with no sugar added… and yes it’s also dairy free’.

The shoppers arrive, leave their goods and according to Chilean amigos they don’t expect any tip.

Customer service is excellent. I didn’t have any issues on my shop, but a friend who received a rather soggy lettuce complained and she got a refund. One time the delivery was 15 minutes late, so next time they offered free delivery.

Payment

So here’s how payment works: initially Cornershop bills you around 85% of the total of the order, and then when they’ve finished the shopping they make a second payment for the difference. So you get two charges per order. And if the total amount of the order is less than the charge made at the beginning, the difference is returned to the card.

As for special in store promotions, Cornershop doesn’t apply them. The prices listed on the website stay the same, regardless of any offers you might spot in-store on the day itself.

Currently, the only way to pay is with a credit card.

Now, a couple of tips…

Beware of Jumbo – most products on Cornershop are priced the same as in the individual stores, with the exception of Jumbo and a few others. On top of their raised prices, Jumbo also charge an excessive administrative fee; in my case of a 35,000 CLP shop this was nearly 8,000 CLP. So I’d argue it doesn’t make financial sense to buy Jumbo products through them.

Also, if you’re a newbie to the Cornershop thing and just want to try it out first before committing to the annual 60,000 CLP free delivery fee, then ask around friends for a voucher. Anyone who has bought previously via Cornershop should be able to give you a voucher for free first time delivery.

As mentioned, I got calls to check my orders while the staff were doing the shop. This means you really need to speak some Spanish. My Spanish isn’t great and we muddled through, but anyone who is really, really bad at the lingo might struggle.

If you’re not a Spanish speaker you can ask for them to message you on Whatsapp rather than call (type ‘No hablo espanol, por favor envia mensajes por Whatsapp’ into the comments box when you pay). Then Google Translate their questions and hey presto!

A slightly annoying issue on their website is that you have to log on to each individual store and search for an item. There’s no way of comparing similar products across a range of stores.

But hey, I’m nearly nine months pregnant, full of cold and if anyone can save me a trip to the supermarket then they’ve got themselves a loyal customer.

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