I used to be worried by online shopping, after all, you can't test out the products, you have to hope you don't get a dodgy courier, the list goes on. However, more and more I've found bargains are easier to locate online and have made the switch.
Chemist Direct promote themselves as the UK's number one for online medication management for households in the UK, and stock many big name brands across a wide range of pharmaceutical categories. They are GPhc registered and launched in 2007.
I was given a £50 voucher code and told I could use it across the site bar prescription items, but they do stock a good variety of these. The voucher also tipped me over the free postage after £40 offer, and delivery for orders under £40 are £3.49.
The site itself is quite basic looking, it's not overly busy, it simply straight to the point, different tags and sections, and makes finding what they do stock very simple.
I didn't find much make up available- this is one of he main reasons I go to a Pharmacy if 'm not filling a prescription so would suggest they need to get more cosmetics online if they wish to up their customer quota. Currently they stock Vichy, which is quite a specialist brand and expensive, as well as a camouflage make up brand, which again isn't going to appeal to the majority.
I did manage to find L'Oreal CC Anti Dullness cream, but this was the same price as I find it in most stores offline. One L'Oreal foundation was listed- the Nude Magique, but only in Medium dark and it wasn't currently available to buy.
Moving on to more camping friendly with kids items, I picked up some anti bite, antiseptic wipes and Sanitizing gel handwash, but again these were not bargains and can be bought from a High Street budget store such as Savers for less.
They do stock a good range of hair products though, with brands such as Schwarzkopf, L'Oreal and Herbal Essences all available. They also stock hair dye but personally I think if I was to dye my hair a new shade I would rather look at the box in my hand than try and guess from on my laptop screen.
The write ups for products were good, giving a good amount of information to the buyer on what the item was used for and what it claims to do, so you can make your mind up on skin care and the like easily enough.
I then registered for an account, clicked through a simple check out and waited for my items.
This is where I feel Chemist Direct is at it's weakest.
Obviously, I'm not the only blogger asked to review for the brand, so when after 2 days my order was still processing, I asked around to find out how long others waited for delivery. The site does say 5 working days maximum, but other's told me the processing was swift and most had next day or two day deliveries via Hermes.
I used their easy to find online chat, and after giving my order number was told an item I had ordered- Herbal Essences dry shampoo- was out of stock and they were waiting for it to come in.
Now, it's good that they try and fulfill your complete order, of course, as it's so annoying when supermarkets substitute items or simply leave them unfulfilled. However, with Chemist Direct, I think they could easily swap like for like with something simple like dry shampoo.
I do think that an email would have been spot on, giving the option to cancel the item, wait for it, or swap it. To leave a customer's order processing- especially if I had of been using the site to purchase hair care and beauty alongside prescription items- without giving a reason why unless you go on chat and seek it out is a real issue which they need to look at sorting if they want customer's to stay loyal.
Once the item was removed from my order, the items appeared the next day, all as described and nothing broken as it was wrapped well.
Overall, this is a site which could be a Godsend to people like myself who constantly have to have prescriptions and who often buy other items at the pharmacy to save time. Currently though, a few things let the site down, the lack of cosmetics, the prices of most items and the lack of email if a item is unavailable, but sort those out and I think this could easily take on the big pharmacy chains with ease.
You can find Chemist Direct at their website online.