Just in time for the holiday party season, Metro shoppers across Ontario can now order flowers and food platters online.
With tag lines such as “Get flowers in one click” and “The best parties start here” the grocer launched MetroMyOnlineFlorist.ca and Fresh2Go.metro.ca, respectively, in mid-November.
The services were created in response to growing consumer demand for online offerings, said Jamie Sprules, director, marketing and communications at Metro Ontario. “We’re constantly evaluating what (consumers) are looking for and willing to shop for online.”
MetroMyOnlineFlorist allows online shoppers to buy everything from potted plant baskets to roses to floral arrangements for special occasions.
Online offerings “are actually more extensive than what we are able to carry in our stores because of limits in square footage,” Sprules said. (Currently 80 of Metro’s 149 Ontario stores offer full floral service and the rest have self-service.)
Metro has partnered with Bouquet Canada, to help it execute online floral sales and provide delivery across Ontario. However, Metro determines product offerings, prices and quality.
Fresh2Go offers the same products that are available for order in stores: deli trays, sandwich and wrap platters, fruit and vegetable platters, sushi platters, seafood platters, bakery platters and cakes.
It’s operated entirely by Metro, with orders filled and picked up in store. Metro requires 48 hours notice for orders.
Both services also allow customers to order by phone.
“It comes down to trust,” Sprules said of the online offerings. “We have developed a lot of trust with shoppers across the province and they know our focus on fresh, quality and excellent service.” Metro saw an opportunity to extend that reputation online, he said.
Metro expects to see “a lift in the single digit” percentage range in year-over-year sales for both services. “That is pretty dramatic,” Sprules said. “Any business that can grow their sales at all in a competitive environment like Ontario, those are aggressive ambitions.”
Although it’s too early to determine sales performance, consumer response to date has been positive, he said.
The services are being promoted through Metro’s Facebook page, e-mail newsletter and other online services and via circulars and in-store signage and audio.
A performance evaluation will be conducted before any decision is made to expand the services to Quebec.