Not only is Canada’s virtual store cool – it works!
April 4, 2012 at 10:54am by Mavis Huntley
In the last 24hrs, news of P&G’s virtual store in Toronto has spread through the social media sphere, with the Globe & Mail writing a particularly well-researched article. Instead of continuing to read about it, I decided to go and experience it myself. I’m happy to report that not only was the story newsworthy - it worked!
The location of the store is outside of Union station in Brookfield Place. There is a lot of foot traffic but it’s a thoroughfare, not a place where you would be waiting around. Similar to the virtual Tesco store in Korea, in the future it would make more sense to put these in subway stations, bus shelters etc.
Like the wells.ca site explains (the company behind the execution), your order is complete within 3-steps. Those 3-steps took me 8 minutes including downloading the app, scanning 5 items and entering in my billing information. Two steps of which will not be required the next time I go to purchase. A nice surprise was that there was free Wi-Fi in the space. It’s the attention to detail that go along way in executing technically advanced ideas.
I was surprised to find out that the experience of scanning items was also easy to use. I didn’t have to align the scanner exactly to the QR codes, which was good since some of the shelves were out of reach.
Similar to Amazon, since the purchase of those items, I’ve received progress emails letting me know that my virtual products aren’t floating in the “cloud”. In fact they are being processed and will be shipped shortly (3 business days).
There has been some backlash in terms of the amount of products available, but it’s an initial launch. I got household items I need, the shipping is free and the prices are competitive since P&G doesn’t have to pay stocking fees for retailer shelves.
All in all, I’m a fan!