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12/17/2017

InstaBuggy delivery service expands into Vancouver

Home delivery service launches in Vancouver with grocery partner Costco

Vancouver grocery shoppers have a new option for home delivery with the arrival of Toronto-based startup InstaBuggy.

InstaBuggy works with retailers to create digital marketplaces accessible through the InstaBuggy website or app. Customers place their orders which are received by InstaBuggy “shoppers” who go to the store, pick and pack the order, and deliver it in as little as an one hour.

The service went live in Vancouver last Monday. At launch, InstaBuggy is working only with Costco for grocery delivery but can also make deliveries from PetSmart and Rexall. In the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa—the service’s only two markets until now—InstaBuggy delivery options include Sobeys Urban Fresh and FreshCo stores, Costco as well as Toronto independents Summerhill Market and Coppa’s Fresh Market.

CEO and co-founder Julian Gleizer declined to say if Sobeys Inc., which operates several Safeway stores in Vancouver, will be added to the list of Vancouver options but said he expected to expand the list of options early in 2018. (The grocers do not endorse or formally work with InstaBuggy beyond allowing it to add the grocer’s logo to the InstaBuggy website.)

“We have had a significant impact from the get-go in Vancouver,” said Gleizer of the launch, though he did not provide any numbers about orders placed or app downloads. “It is a little bit early to tell but we definitely have seen the demand.”

The company said since launching in 2015 it had experienced +930% year over year growth. Earlier this year, InstaBuggy revamped its pricing model; previously customers were charged a mark-up on each item they ordered. Now customers pay the same price as in-store and are instead charged a flat fee of $19.98. Gleizer told Canadian Grocer the average order sizes increased to nearly $200 from about $150 after the new model was introduced.

While InstaBuggy has been establishing a niche in the grocery space, the company is expanding into other categories as well, including alcohol through the LCBO in Ontario and for the second year in a row, customers could also get a Christmas tree delivered by InstaBuggy.

“We are growing significantly and very quickly and expanding our verticals as we speak,” said Gleizer, adding InstaBuggy hoped to add alcohol to the list of delivery options for Vancouver. “We are working on that,” he said.

Now that Vancouver is up and running, InstaBuggy will turn its attention to other markets with Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal in the plans.