From: IDG Retail Analysis
First fresh food digital marketplace launches in Canada
Leading online grocer, Spud.ca, has launched the first fresh food digital marketplace in Canada. This follows on from a successful pilot in Calgary last month.
Optimsing Spud’s ecommerce capabilities
The Be Fresh Marketplace has been developed as a digital platform for local artisans, small shops and independent grocers to sell online with consolidated delivery. This optimises Spud’s capabilities in technology, warehousing and home delivery to increase the accessibility of ecommerce for local food companies. Commenting on the initiative, Peter van Stolk, CEO at SPUD.ca, said,
“Small food businesses are an important part of our company and the vitality of the cities we live in. It is really hard for these amazing fresh food companies to create an online shopping experience on their own. We are committed to local and working with these businesses to adapt to the digital age.”
More than 500 local companies expected to feature products in 2019
Local sellers on the Be Fresh Marketplace will use Spud.ca’s website to create their online stores. Order fulfillment and delivery to customers will be undertaken by Spud’s food delivery platform, Food-X Urban Delivery. The marketplace is expected to feature products from more than 500 local companies by the end of the year following its launch in Vancouver and Calgary.
Unique approach to ecommerce fulfillment
Food-X is a food delivery platform that allows multiple retailers to access technology, warehousing, food preparation and delivery services. The company can consolidate orders from all of its customers onto fewer trucks. It launched last September, initially partnering with Walmart Canada, enabling the retailer to launch a grocery delivery service in the Vancouver market. The 74,000 sq ft warehouse facility which supports this utilises a ‘Rapid Pack Algorithm’ that decreases packing time along with wasted space in packed orders. Picking software utilises AI to deliver instructions to warehouse packers, while delivery route optimisation software uses real-time data with the goal of lowering retailers’ overall carbon footprint.
Supporting channel development
This initiative will help smaller businesses to compete in the digital commerce era and support the further development of the channel in Canada. Currently, it only accounts for a small proportion of the overall grocery market, estimated at 0.8%. However, this is forecast to grow to 1.8% by 2023, with a CAGR of 21.0% expected over the period. All the major retailers have plans to grow their ecommerce operations this year, including through strategic partnerships, extending their geographic reach and launching innovative new service offers.