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Two of Canada’s biggest food retailers, Loblaws and Wal-Mart Canada, are expanding their ecommerce orders facilities as an alternative to home delivery.

Loblaws plans to add Click & Collect options to 100 of its stores, in addition to the 48 that already have them. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart is planning to introduce the facilities in 33 stores.

Click & Collect is seen as a more attractive option for both retailers and customers than home delivery, which is difficult to implement in Canada owing to the country’s low population density. “It doesn’t mean that we won’t do delivery in the future, but it’s not in our plans today” said Simon Rodrigue, Senior Vice-President of e-Commerce at Wal-Mart Canada.

With Click & Collect, customers order online and then pick up their orders from the shop themselves. Adding the option has its costs, as it generally requires hiring 10 to 12 order pickers per store. However, this is offset by higher order values. An online customer spends an average of over $100 per order, as opposed to $30-35 for in-store customers. However, Click & Collect is still a risky option for supermarkets. Many of them have introduced technology designed to make their order pickers work faster, such as alarms that go off if they are working too slowly, in order to maximise profitability.

For those who find collecting their orders in person difficult, companies like Urbery and Instabuggy have emerged, allowing customers to buy online and then have someone else pick up their order. Urbery charges 10-15% higher food prices than the supermarkets, in order to cover delivery costs. Meanwhile, Instabuggy allows orders from a few specific chains, such as Sobeys, though there is no formal partnership. “In essence, they are using us as a warehouse” a Sobeys spokesperson said.


Posts written by author Ecommerce Guide will be written by multiple authors.

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