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Indigo Partners with Uber to Provide Same-day Delivery: Interviews

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Uber and Indigo Books & Music Inc. have partnered to provide same-day delivery to Canadian customers.

Indigo becomes the first book and gift retailer on Uber, with over 70 locations available on the app across Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.

Andrea Limbardi, Chief Digital Officer at Indigo, said the retailer puts a strong focus on trying to make customers’ lives easier, “trying to make our customers’ lives more joyful’.

Indigo at Manulife Centre in Toronto – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

“And we hear from our customers that they’re incredibly busy, especially our busy parents who have so much going on. Kids to get to school, kids to help with homework, meals to put on the table. And the more convenient options we can give them in order to find the best books and gifts, the better,” she said.

Andrea Limbardi

“With our partnership with Uber, we can have their order to them in sometimes less than an hour. So really adding for them that incredible convenience.”

She said the orders are fulfilled directly from the stores locally which is why they can be shipped as quickly as an hour.

Indigo also has a partnership with Instacart which it launched a year ago which offers a similar service in all provinces across Canada where the retailer has stores.

Indigo Spirit at CF Richmond Centre.
Indigo Spirit at CF Richmond Centre. Photo: Geetanjali Sharma

Limbardi said the company’s growth in the digital area has been “outstanding” in the past two years.

“We have seen customers come to us in great numbers since the start of COVID for sure but even before then. Our customers, of course, over the course of the last couple of years have become so digitally savvy and we offer many conveniences on our digital platforms,” she said. “Whether it’s this same-day delivery, we also have ship to store and curbside pickup and obviously ship directly to customers’ homes.

“We just finished our second quarter a couple of months ago where our online sales were at 85 per cent above pre-COVID fiscal 2020 and we’re continuing to see strong results there.

“For us at Indigo, certainly our customers have been loving our online experience. One of our key strategic initiatives is around modernizing our digital platforms. So over the next two years we’re investing significantly in the modernizing of all of our digital platforms and with optimism and confidence that our customers are going to continue to choose shopping with us in an omni way because it’s not just about e-commerce or our store network. It’s how they come together and how that experience is easier, better, more seamless for our customers. So we’re investing in it from a full 360 perspective.”

UBER EATS APP OPEN ON SMARTPHONE

Indigo joins other national grocery and retail partners as part of Uber’s global goal to help people around the world go anywhere they want, and get anything they need.  Last year, Uber shifted gears to bring grocery, convenience, prescriptions, personal care, alcohol, and more local commerce into the Uber Eats app alongside restaurants. Uber is currently partnered with over 400,000 retail shops and restaurants in more than 6,000 cities across 45 countries and six continents.

Lola Kassim

Lola Kassim, General Manager for Uber Eats Canada, said the partnership is an example of the company’s commitment to continue to innovate and build new partnerships so that Canadians can get anything more easily and faster than before.

“We’re really excited with this partnership, especially Indigo which is a beloved retailer for many Canadians. It is now going to be available through the Uber Eats. At Uber Eats, I think a lot of people would have noticed over the past couple of years, what we’ve been doing is really expanding beyond just being an app you go to get food when you’re hungry,” said Kassim. “We want to be the app that you go to when you want to get just about anything when it comes to local commerce.

“Over the last year we acquired Cornershop which is our grocery service. Now we’re expanding into categories beyond food and grocery . . . For us it’s just another way that we are expanding into that world of being the app where you can get anything.”

The new initiative is quite simple:

Step 1: Open up the Uber or Uber Eats app, and tap Grocery, or open up the Cornershop by Uber app.

Step 2: Select Indigo to view the catalog and available items.

Step 3: Add books, toys and gifts to your cart and check out.

Step 4: Sit back and relax while your books, toys and gifts arrive in as little as 90 minutes.

Indigo shoppers with an Uber Pass will receive $0 delivery for orders over $40.

“When we started it was just about ride sharing. Uber was the place where you tap a button, get a ride, move from A to Z. Then over the last several years of course Uber Eats has grown and I think we’ve really seen, particularly, through the pandemic, how much people are excited about the convenience of being able to order anything through an app. And we’ve also seen how merchants really benefit from having those extra avenues of revenue when people are able to be connected to the services and their goods through our technology,” said Kassim.

The service has expanded into many different areas like alcohol and in Ontario cannabis products.

“We will continue to see new innovative ways that we’re looking at expanding what people can get using technology,” she said.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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