- Costco and Boxed are both bulk retailers that sell pretty much everything.
- Boxed has been called the “Costco for millennials” because it’s an online-exclusive store with mobile ordering and speedy delivery. Costco also has an online store and mobile ordering, but its prices can be as much as 20% more there than in the physical warehouse stores.
- Costco shoppers can shop online without a membership, but a 5% surcharge is applied at checkout.
- The websites themselves have some obvious differences, and we found that one was much easier to use than the other.
Unlike Costco, Boxed is digitally native. It has mobile ordering and one-to-three-day delivery. It also offers free two-day shipping if you spend more than $49, and it doesn’t require a membership to make a purchase.
Costco has an online store in addition to its physical warehouses, but products across all categories tend to cost more online than in stores. Though the website allows shoppers to order from Costco without paying for a $60 annual membership, a 5% surcharge is applied at checkout. However, Costco has been taking some steps to reach more millennial shoppers, like offering two-day delivery through Costco Grocery and one-day delivery through a partnership with Instacart.
One of the most clear differences between Costco and Boxed is that Boxed members don’t need to pay an annual fee to access the savings. But the company did recently launch Boxed Up, a premium service that costs $49 a year and provides shoppers with perks like free shipping on orders over $20, 2% cashback rewards, and price matching with competitors.
Both websites offer major savings for bulk shoppers, but upon trying both, I found one was easier to use than the other. See what it’s like to shop at each:
Costco was the first site I went to. On the homepage were members-only savings deals, buyers’ picks, and a selection of different featured products in a variety of categories.
It was hugely different from the Boxed homepage, which was very simple and sleek. Scrolling down on the Boxed homepage, there were links leading to more information about bow Boxed gives back to different causes.
Costco had far more departments on its website, but it was cluttered and hard to navigate compared to Boxed.