Some time ago, I wrote about P&G launching an eStore to compete not against grocery stores or e-drugstores per se, but assuming against other consumer products companies, such as Unilever, maker of Lever 2000 soap and other products. P&G’s hook? $5 flat rate shipping, no matter what you buy. Since the store has been functioning for some time, I figure it was time for a review and comparison.
The first thing I noticed was a slick, clean, and easy to use interface. Products are categorized logically and have a large picture so you know exactly what your buying. The second thing I noticed was the site offered digital coupons, which was a nice surprise. So far, so good. But most importantly, let’s talk about prices. How do they compare with other online stores?
Here are a couple of items and how they stack up (without coupons):
Gillette Dry Skin Hydrator Body Wash – 16 oz
Tide 2X Ultra Detergent Spring & Renewal
The results from this limited experiment are clear: the P&G eStore wins out on a few sample products. However, there are a few things to consider as well in price comparison with the other online retailers. First, after spending $25 (any time) at Drugstore.com, you get free shipping on select items, and the coupons that the P&G eStore listed are also available digitally with Drugstore.com, too. Drugstore.com promo codes via Retailmenot.com or other coupon sites can lower your costs, and you can earn “Drugstore.com Dollars” for for savings on future purchases. Moreover, by shopping through a portal, such as Ebates, you can receive cash back for your purchases. Drugstore.com also participates in the Shop Runner program, which for $79/year, you get “free” two day shipping with no minimum purchase and special savings offers. Several retailers participate in this program.
Second, CVS.com has free shipping after spending a whopping $49 on selected items, they do not seem to have digital coupons for the P&G products as does the eStore and Drugstore.com, but they do have Extra Bucks you can earn just by buying their products, which can be used for future savings. You can also earn Upromise dollars by shopping at CVS.com, and use promo codes to save even more. Just visit Retailmenot.com or Evreward.com for any available coupons.
Bottom line: you have a few viable options to choose from when shopping online for these products. I would stay away from CVS.com if your purchase is going to be under $49. Paying for shipping will mitigate your savings. If you are planning on spending more than $25 anyway, then carefully compare Drugstore.com and the eStore. You will have to pay $5 shipping, but the savings could make it worth it. If you have the time, also check if you are better off just buying the products at the brick and mortar store using regular coupons. Depending on how savvy you are, you might even get them for a lot less, or even free.