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Square Launches On-Demand Delivery Service in Canada in Partnership with DoorDash: Interview

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Square Canada has launched an on-demand delivery service through a third-party delivery partner for orders placed directly on its website with no commission fee.

The delivery service for orders, through DoorDash Drive, is geared for restaurants, bars, breweries, bottle shops, convenience stores or any seller using Square Online across Canada.

Canada is the first international market to offer on-demand delivery since its US launch in 2020.

Image: Boke Bowl QSR
Justin Scott

“We’re super excited that we’re introducing a brand new way for Canadian sellers to get reliable delivery without the marketplace commissions using our on-demand delivery,” said Justin Scott, Head of Product, eCommerce Platform at Square.

“What that means is that when you start up a free Square Online ordering page you can get access to on-demand delivery which is really a cost-effective way to get items delivered to your customers. This is the first international market that we’ve launched this service in since we launched in the US back in 2020.

“It’s a great time for this because we know it’s a super challenging business environment right now. We hear that from our sellers all the time. And so we want to give them the tools. The biggest thing that sellers will notice is saving on commissions. Typically for marketplaces for food orders and those sorts of things sellers end up paying around 30 per cent in commission fees. With our on-demand delivery service, sellers can save a pretty significant amount because they only pay the flat fee of $1.50 Canadian to Square and then they pay a flat fee for the courier provided by DoorDash as well. Both of those fees can actually be passed on to the buyer if that’s what the sellers want to do. We give sellers a lot of control and flexibility over how they price and pass those fees along to customers.”

Scott said sellers can also own the relationship with their customers. If a customer places a direct order with the seller online, the seller gets to own that customer relationship. They get all the customer information which is added to their customer directory and they can use that to continue building and growing their business. They could set up a Square Loyalty program for rewards. They could use Square Marketing to retain and encourage that customer to come back.

“Building that customer relationship is a key differentiator as well,” added Scott.

He said the new service is available to all of Square’s sellers across all the provinces and territories with the exception of Nunavut. So hundreds of thousands of businesses across the country have access to this.

“When we launched this in the US back in 2020 we saw 173 per cent growth year-over-year between June and December 2020 and last year. So we really expect to see a high level of uptake for this service in Canada as well,” explained Scott.

“One of the biggest drivers has really just been, in the case of restaurants, delivery has been providing a lifeline to restaurants during the pandemic allowing them to stay open even when indoor dining has been closed in many places. We’ve really just seen demand for this take off.”

Wilson Shin, the owner of Katsupan Japanese Sandwich in Toronto, Ontario, has been one of the early adopters of on-demand delivery through Square Online in Canada and welcomes the service as a way to reach more customers.

Image: Katsupan Japanese Sandwich

“I think it’s great that Square can now offer a delivery option for customers who buy online, right alongside pickups, as the choice is right in front of them,” said Shin. “The service has been easy to use, which is always important. Overall, it’s a good option for recurring customers and it helps me save on fees as well.”

David Rusenko

David Rusenko, head of eCommerce at Square, said the company is excited to offer a new solution for Canada’s food and beverage industry to get the most out of its businesses in 2022.

“Whether that’s a bakery delivering food to customers, a restaurant monetizing its wine cellar, a grocery store supplementing their on-premise sales, or a local brewery introducing old favourites to a new crowd, we’re proud to provide our sellers with more ways to make money,” he said.

Square launched in Canada in 2012.

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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