Overwaitea pilots online shopping program

Pilot program being tested at Save-On-Foods in Vancouver's outer suburbs

Overwaitea Food Group's Save-On-Foods has launched an online shopping program in Greater Vancouver.

The pilot is being heavily promoted through 178 large bus shelter ads, plus posters at Save-On stores in specified delivery areas.

READ: Finally an e-grocery business model that makes economic sense

Shoppers can opt for home delivery or pick up from one of three locations. However, it appears that delivery is not yet available everywhere on the Lower Mainland. Some of the more densely populated parts of Vancouver are not yet on Save-On's delivery route.

The pickup option, known industry-wide as "click and collect" is available at Save-On stores in North Vancouver (Park and Tilford); Port Coquitlam (Ottawa Street); and South Point (South Surrey). Shoppers can order online and, rather than wait for home delivery, pick their items up at one of the three stores.

Click and collect is an online delivery method fast gaining popularity with European and American grocers because it cuts down on the cost of delivering to people's homes. Earlier this year, Loblaw said that it planned to start testing click and collect at stores around Toronto this year.

The Save-On site allows shoppers to enter their postal code to see if delivery is available in their neighbourhood. Should a customer find their local Save-On-Foods is not yet offering the online shopping service yet, they can request to be notified via email once the service extends to them.

Save-On has said on Facebook and Twitter that it is currently in the pilot stages of the program and hope to expand it.

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Shoppers simply need to create an account of the Save-On-Foods site, fill their online cart, and decide if they’d like to pick up their order or have it delivered. Customers can also give special instructions for any item. According to the comapany's website, Save-On’s “personal shoppers” assemble the orders, guaranteeing top quality selections, and screening for stale-dated items.

“Prefer your bananas a little green?” the website asks. “Just let us know.”

A free online shopping app is also available in the iTunes or Google Play Store. Charge for pickup is a flat $4.95, and for delivery $7.95, despite considerable distances to some postal codes.

A Save-On representative told Canadian Grocer the company is testing the demand for online grocery (and presumably wants to work out any kinks) before introducing it to downtown Vancouver.

Meanwhile Thrifty’s, the Sobeys banner best-known on Vancouver Island, has been quietly running its very similar Shop Online, with identical fees. But for an extra two dollars, Thrifty’s also offers same-day delivery.

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