These Online Grocery Stores are Changing the Way We Shop

Three new Web-only stores aim to make grocery shopping faster and easier (and cheaper!) by exclusively selling no-frills, store-brand items. We snacked, sipped, and lathered up with their products to see what the big deal is.
online shopping products


What it’s about: This service is the closest to one-stop shopping you’ll find, with 250 items, including nonperishables, meat, cheese, fish, produce, and personal-care items (like soap and shampoo). 

Movebutter also offers pre-stocked boxes that cater to certain diets (vegan, paleo) and include a week’s worth of groceries for $77. 

The selection can still feel thin (there are limited produce options, for instance), but the products are carefully sourced, fairly inexpensive, and, for the most part, tasty. Though we did encounter some—eek—stale cereal.

Cool finds: Belgian chocolate espresso beans, black truffle olive oil, ethically farmed salmon

Fees: None! No membership fee and shipping is free.

How long your stuff takes to arrive: 2 to 3 days


What it’s about: You’ll want to sample lots of stuff from Brandless, because everything in its 250-item- plus selection costs $3 or less (low risk) and, judging from the items we tried, is good quality (high reward). For each purchase, Brandless also donates a meal to the hungry via the nonprofit Feeding America. 

Still, you’ll need a grocery trip to grab your meat, cheese, and veggies, because Brandless sells only nonperishables. Also, some packages were deceptively small.

Cool finds: maple barbecue sauce, chocolate chip cookie thins, eucalyptus-lavender hand soap, organic cotton tampons

Fees: Shipping is $5 per order. You can get free shipping on all orders with a $36 yearly membership.

How long your stuff takes to arrive: 2 to 4 days

Public Goods

What it’s about: Household goods and the health- and-beauty aisle, simplified. Public Goods is expanding into food and beyond soon. For now, Public Goods sells toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, razors, and more—34 items in total—with no parabens, sulfates, or any other beauty bugaboos. 

The products we tried felt high-end and cost less than drugstore brands, but you’d better like the signature citrus-spicy scent. It’s the only option for shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, bar soap, and deodorant.

Cool finds: razor cartridges ($3 for four!), a weirdly chic bamboo toothbrush

Fees: Anyone can buy Public Goods products, but a yearly membership of $59 gets you free shipping on orders of $25 or more and cheaper prices on all products (like $3.50 for a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo instead of $20).

How long your stuff takes to arrive: 2 to 7 days