A Canadian grocer is the latest entrant in the online marketplace arena.
Loblaw Companies Ltd. is extending the assortment of its PC Express buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) service with an online marketplace. The marketplace will feature curated, third-party brands and products that Loblaw has not historically stocked. This will include additional items for baby, toy, home, kitchen and pet categories across several of its store banners, including Real Canadian Superstore, Atlantic Superstore, and Loblaws.
Customers who make purchases from the online marketplace will earn PC Optimum loyalty points, and products will be delivered direct to home or available for in-store pickup. Returns will be available in many stores. At launch, new third-party companies will be introduced in the five expanded categories and new products will continue to roll out.
Earlier in 2019, Loblaw acquired Las Vegas-based marketplace platform developer PFTech to integrate the online marketplace within the PC Express platform. Loblaw intends for this technology to ensure a positive customer experience across its digital footprint.
“Millions of Canadians visit our stores and online shops weekly, looking for inspiration and convenient access to food, home and health products,” said Garry Senecal, chief customer officer, Loblaw. “Through this expanded PC Express offering, we will provide them with a curated, edited assortment of products that complement their current shop, from some exciting new vendors. This is another example of how we can offer even more to customers, simplifying their searching and shopping experience for many of their everyday needs.”
Major U.S. retailers such as Amazon and Walmart have had success extending their product assortments with third-party online marketplaces. Online giant Google recently revamped its Google Shopping e-commerce experience to directly compete with leading online marketplaces. If Loblaw’s PC Express marketplace proves profitable, it will be interesting to see if other Canadian retailers give the online marketplace model a try.
Loblaw Companies Ltd. operates more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations.
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