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Cybershopping for Groceries

These days, a growing number of savvy shoppers are getting their groceries via the Internet from a virtual supermarket. CBS Consumer Correspondent Herb Weisbaum reports on This Morning that some folks wouldn't shop any other way:

"Online shopping is the oh-so-easy way to buy books and CD's and airline tickets.... So why not groceries? After all, the average weekly trip to the supermarket now takes about an hour."

Thus, the cyber supermarket becomes a solution.

One cyber-shopper, Marlene Wilson, does the bulk of her food shopping sitting in front of her computer, searching the virtual aisles at a site called NetGrocer:

"You can find things by putting in the name," she says. "You can find things by putting in the brand. It's convenient not having to go to the store - having it delivered to your door."

Weisbaum explains: "When Marlene Wilson or any of the 14,000-other NetGrocer shoppers place an order, it shows up at a warehouse in North Brunswick, N.J. Then it's handed off to your personal shopper who goes up and down the aisles picking out all the things you want."

To keep prices down, NetGrocer doesn't sell everything you'd find in a real supermarket, carrying only the most popular sizes of the most popular items.

Chief Operating Officer Richard Falcone, says: "If you had Cheerios and it sold in 5 different sizes, we'd pick the most popular size, the 15-ounce size."

Weisbaum adds: "So where the average supermarket has around 30,000 different products, Netgrocer has about 6,000. Most of them familiar, nationally advertised brands; items you don't have to smell or squeeze before buying.

Daniel Nissan, a former special forces officer in the Israeli Air Force created NetGrocer.

He says, "When you deal with cereals, when you deal with cleaning products, when you deal with household products, you don't need really to touch and feel the product".

When you buy online, comparison shopping is easy. You can tell NetGrocer to sort items by calories, fat, sodium, or price per serving.

To serve a larger area, NetGrocer carries only packaged goods, products that can be shipped via Federal Express, anywhere in the country.

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