How to buy groceries online with N26
We reviewed the best supermarkets and apps that let you take care of all your shopping from the comfort of your home.
7 min read
Let’s face it, life is busy. So when you’re on the go, there’s nothing like getting the essentials delivered right to your door. From clothes to electronics, online shopping has made our lives much easier—and now, you can even order your milk, eggs, and salad online and save yourself that extra trip to the supermarket.
In fact, online grocery shopping is a great way to get quality food without the temptation to overspend. Some even offer a “click and collect” option. But not all online grocers are created equal. So to help you out, we took a look at the online stores of four large European supermarket chains to see what options they had available. Surprisingly, some of these retail giants still seem to be in the beta phase, so we’ve also included some tips about local supermarkets in Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Happy shopping!
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Lidl still has a long way to go
Lidl is a German discount supermarket operating in around 30 countries worldwide. Its first online store went live over 10 years ago, but it didn’t sell groceries. Today, the vast majority of Lidl’s online stores still only sell non-food items and alcohol, including electronics, clothing, and even furniture.
So where’s the food? An option in the banner menu lets you see the food and drink currently on sale in its physical shops. This might be useful if you’re on a tight budget, and some sites (e.g., Germany, Spain) allow you to add items to a list that can be downloaded as a PDF. (But why bother with a PDF when there are so many good shopping list apps available?)
Online groceries only seem to be available in certain parts of the US and Ireland. US customers can order through the shopLidl app or a third-party app called Shipt. In Ireland, Lidl has partnered with the Buymie app to make their groceries available to customers.
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Aldi delivers groceries in the UK and household goods in Germany
Aldi, too, is lagging behind when it comes to online grocery service. The German supermarket chain’s delivery service was still in the trial phase in the UK as late as May 2020. UK customers can now order groceries online and either pick them up or have them delivered by Deliveroo, depending on where they live. Both options cost £4.99.
In some parts of Germany, Aldi has been offering home delivery since 2017 in the form of “Aldi liefert.” However, this only applies to non-supermarket items such as furniture, garden accessories, electronics, and so on. In general, Aldi’s websites simply provide information. They list the products you can buy in its physical stores, promote special offers and, in some countries, there’s a shopping list function (e.g., France, Germany, Italy) so you can prep your list for your store trip.
Carrefour offers home delivery and pick-up options
This French hypermarket chain also came pretty late to the ecommerce party. But unlike the German discounters, every Carrefour webshop actually sells groceries. Products appear in the usual categories like fruit, veg, meat and dairy, and there are menu options for discounted items and household goods. You can compare prices, earn loyalty points, and add items to a wish list or your shopping cart.
In Europe, Carrefour has online stores in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, and Romania. If you’re an expat living in any of those countries and don’t speak the local lingo, then you’ll need to shop elsewhere as the sites aren’t available in English.
Delivery options include home delivery or “Carrefour Drive,” which is like “click and collect” for people with cars. After you place an order online, your groceries will be assembled and you can pick them up at your preferred store or “Drive” location (a warehouse with special pick-up bays for cars).
Amazon Fresh knows a thing or two about e-commerce
To order groceries from Amazon Fresh, you must be an Amazon Prime member (e.g., Germany €7.99/month, France €5.99/month, UK £7.99/month) and you’ll also need to request an invitation.
Orders are placed via the website or the Amazon app. Delivery is free if you spend over a certain amount per order; the minimum varies from place to place but is often around €35. The delivery date is up to you. All you have to do is select a time slot and specify whether you (or your neighbor) will be home to receive the package (Attended Delivery) or if the package should be left on your doorstep (Doorstep Delivery).
Products are sorted into categories and, best of all, there are filtering options. You can buy just about everything—all kinds of food, including fridge and freezer items, and household items such as batteries, toilet paper, and cleaning products. Amazon Fresh is available in most major cities in the US, parts of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, London, Tokyo, and India.
Buying groceries online from your local supermarkets
The options listed above don’t deliver to all EU countries, so your best bet might be to seek out a local supermarket chain. The following supermarkets are all web savvy, although the websites are only available in the local language, except for two Spanish supermarkets that also offer English.
Germany—Rewe and Netto
Rewe offers delivery, pick-up and postage services. You need a user account, the minimum order is €50 and the delivery fee varies from €0 to €5.90, depending on the order amount and delivery date. The services are available Monday to Saturday, 7am to 10pm, and you can choose your preferred store. The postage service ships non-perishable items throughout Germany and there’s no minimum order amount. Accepted payments include credit card, direct debit, and PayPal.
Netto only seems to deliver by post, though the online store still lets you select fridge items. The minimum order amount is €60, postage is €4.95, and you can expect your food to arrive in three to four days.
France—Monoprix, Casino, Intermarché, Auchan
Monoprix covers all the bases—its web shop offers a wish list function, delivery, click-and-collect, product categorization, discounted items, etc. For home delivery, the minimum order is €50 and the fee changes depending on the purchase amount (free over €150). There’s no fee or minimum order amount for click and collect.
Casino (yes, it’s a supermarket), Intermarché, and Auchan all offer home delivery and “Drive” pick-up. Intermarché also lets you collect your groceries from one of its regular stores. Casino will send you products through the mail and even has a handy app.
Italy—Esselunga, Conad, Penny Market
Your go-to online grocery stores in Italy are Esselunga, Conad and Penny Market. They offer similar services to those described above for France and Germany. Penny only delivers in Milan, Torino, and Catania; the other supermarkets ask for your postcode to check whether delivery is possible.
Pro tip—the grocery shopping app Everli gives people in 34 provinces throughout Italy access to multiple different local supermarkets. You can pay via credit card, Apple Pay, or cash on delivery.
Spain—Mercadona, Eroski, Alcampo, Condis
Hello, English speakers! Mercadona is available in your language. Enter your postcode to find out whether they deliver in your area. Minimum purchase is €50, orders are delivered Monday to Saturday and the delivery fee is €4.21. Eroski is also available in English and there’s no minimum order amount. The delivery fee ranges from €3.95 to €6.95 per delivery, depending on the time slot.
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Secure online grocery shopping with N26
When you pay for your groceries online using your N26 Mastercard, you can rest assured that your card details and money are well protected. Two-factor authentication protects your account from being accessed by others, while 3D Secure technology encrypts your personal payment information when you shop online. So go ahead and save your card details with your preferred online supermarket, and place orders with complete peace of mind.
How do I report debit card fraud?
Most banks will have a phone number you can call, or if you bank online, you may be able to message your bank through your app. At N26, we have a dedicated Customer Support team on hand to deal with any security questions you may have. Customers should report debit card fraud to Customer Support as soon as possible, who will act quickly to protect your money.
What is a Mastercard SecureCode?
This is a one-time use code generated through Mastercard SecureCode technology, for added security for card holders. This 3D Secure process is an additional way to authenticate the identity of the card owner by providing the code at checkout. It is usually sent via SMS to the user’s cell phone.
Are online payments safe?
All online payment methods should be digitally encrypted, protecting your account and personal data. At N26, each transaction goes through several layers of security, and every Mastercard debit card is 3D Security-enabled with a Mastercard SecureCode.
How do I know if my virtual card is safe to use?
All virtual debit and credit cards should be electronically encrypted to give you security from banking fraud. With N26, all our cards are 3D Secure enabled with Mastercard SecureCode, which ensures your identity gets verified when making online payments.
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