January 23, 2013

How to order from Azure Standard

It was definitely the consensus of everyone I talked to that the Azure Standard website is overwhelming. 

Yes. It definitely IS. But, it's essentially a grocery store. Can you imagine what HyVee's website would look like if they put ALL their products on there?

This little "intro to Azure" should help you out if you've never done it before. 
I will say, it's not exactly a website you want to "browse." It isn't pretty or functional enough. But if you know what you need, you can get it taken care of quickly. 

Ok, let's start with the home page:

They highlight a few articles - which are often worth reading if like that kind of thing - and a few new and/or featured products. The main navigation is in the orange bar at the top.

The first thing you need to do is sign in. You cannot see any prices on any products without signing in.

If you've never used their site, you can create a username and password. Doing so does NOT commit you to buy anything, ever. 

Enter your info. Easy peasy.

Now that you're logged in, there are basically two ways to shop.
1. Browse - I usually choose to browse by category
2. Enter a search term.

To browse, choose the "shop" drop down menu in the top orange bar.

If you choose to browse by category, it will look like this:

For this example, we'll choose "Frozen Grocery"

Even when browsing by category, it can be overwhelming. The results in this category are over 1000. I really wish there was a 2nd tier to organize within categories, but they don't have that yet. So for now, we'll have to deal. 

In cases like this, you can do two things:
1. Find a brand you like and expand on it. If I were to click on an item in the previous image, it would bring me to an item detail screen.

Here I can click on the brand and it will show me everything they sell by under that label.

This makes browsing a little easier.


2. You can simply search for what you want.

Just be forewarned that their search function is very specific. If you were to spell Rudi's as "Rudis," it would not find it. So just because you get no results, it doesn't mean the product isn't there. Try different wording or spelling.

If you get it right, it will significantly narrow things down:

When you find what you want, just add it to your cart - same as any other online store:

 Hit "Check Out" when you're ready to go!

The next screen will ask about shipping. At this point, you will need to know your drop point number. You can get this if you know who your drop point coordinator is. If you don't, call Azure Standard and they will help you. You will want to contact the drop point coordinator, because they will tell you when the shipment will be delivered.

Clicking "next" takes you to the payment screen. We'll skip that one because it automatically saves your information and I don't think everyone needs a screen shot of my card numbers!

The third screen is a review:
Check everything over closely. You'll see in this example I have a "small order handling fee." This is because my order is less than $50. Because they are an Oregon based company, there's no sales tax, only an 8.5% delivery fee. So it comes out similarly to paying sales tax anyway, but getting shipping for free, if it helps to look at it that way.

Last step:

Make sure you click "SUBMIT ORDER!!"
One time I filled my cart, entered all the info and forgot to click this. Oops.

Now, the orders close on a specific day and time. So if you've already submitted your order, it automatically goes through at that time. If you have things in your cart but haven't submitted it when the order closes, you'll get nothing.

Also, you can modify your order at any point up until the order closes! I often add things when I'm thinking about it, then a week later come back and add more, etc. This way I don't forget anything.

For more information, you can also click the "Ordering Info" button on the main orange bar:

This should have answer some "frequently asked question" type things.

And don't be afraid to contact them! I've emailed several times asking specifics about products, such as, "does the producer use pesticide," and "is the milk used to produce this cheese from grass-fed cows?" They always have an answer.

I'm happy to answer any questions too! Hope that helps, at least a little!


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