Shopping for Seniors: Personal Concierge or In-Store Shoppers?

At My Divine Concierge, one of our favorite categories of services is the senior services category. These are services we offer for older clients who have trouble getting out of the house and/or doing things around the house. Take grocery shopping for example. What was once a routine task decades ago may be difficult for a senior now struggling with the limits of age and health issues.

There is a growing trend among grocery retailers to offer in-store shopping services with either curbside pickup or home delivery. We would never discourage a client from using one of these new services, but we firmly believe having a personal concierge handle grocery shopping is a better way to go.

How the Services Work

A grocery provider offering in-store shopping assigns dedicated employees to fill customer orders. They walk around the store filling baskets based on orders received, then pack the orders for the customer. The packed orders are made available for either curbside pickup for home delivery. As for how the orders are placed, that depends on the store.

A lot of the stores are offering online ordering these days. You simply log on to the store’s website with your computer or phone, make your selections by browsing their inventory, and pay via electronic check out. Other grocery chains take phone orders, though phone ordering is quickly disappearing.

This service works well enough, but it is highly impersonal. Having a personal concierge handling grocery shopping for you keeps that personal element alive. Your concierge can get to know your favorite brands and preferred quantities. He or she will get to know certain patterns so that, if you forget to put something on the list, he/she will know to buy it anyway.

The personal service is just one of the benefits of using a concierge. There are others as well.

Help Going through the Cupboards

An in-store shopping service can only fill the orders customers place. A concierge can go one step further by helping you as you prepare your shopping list. He/she can work with you to go through your cupboards and refrigerator, identifying what you need for the coming week and helping keep track of items that may be close to expiring. Your concierge can even clean out your refrigerator if need be. An in-house shopping service will not do any of that.

Help with Menu Planning

Some of our senior clients have trouble shopping for groceries because they struggle with planning what they will need for a full week at a time. A personal concierge can help with menu planning, thus making it easier to create a shopping list of just what you need and nothing you don’t. As wonderful as in-store shopping services are, they cannot help you with menu planning.

Nutritional Recommendations

Getting back to the impersonal nature of in-store shopping services, your local grocery store will not delve into the question of nutrition with you. A personal concierge will, if you request it. If your concierge sees you are not getting enough fruits and vegetables for example, he or she might recommend adding a bag of apples along with some cauliflower and broccoli to the shopping list.

When comparing a concierge service against in-store shopping, it really comes down to how personal you want the service to be. When it comes to personalization, a concierge wins hands down every time. Our personal service is what separates us from many of the new services being offered in the online gig economy.

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