Canada Post tests same-day delivery for online buyers
Betting that consumers are willing to pay for instant gratification, Canada Post is teaming up with Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Best Buy Canada Ltd., and Indigo Books & Music Inc. in the first major Canadian rollout of same-day online shopping.
The service, being offered starting Tuesday to more than four million people in a Toronto-area pilot project, will allow consumers to order everything from diapers to tablet computers online by midday and take delivery at home in the evening.
For Canada Post, same-day delivery is another way to build its parcel business – one of the money-losing Crown corporation’s few remaining growth prospects – while also using its workers, trucks and postal depots more efficiently.
“Mail is going down and that’s not going to be the growth engine,” Rod Hart, Canada Post’s general manager of domestic parcels and e-commerce, acknowledged in an interview. “We are prepared to invest where it makes sense, and parcels make sense for us.”
Canada Post, whose core postal service lost $104-million in the second quarter, has trucks and depots that aren’t fully used late in the day and in the evening. Mr. Hart said the project is a potential game-changer, offering consumers something that isn’t available “on this scale anywhere in Canada.” The test will run through the end of the Christmas shopping season, and could be extended to other markets if successful.
Canada Post will charge retailers an undisclosed amount for the service, and retailers will determine how much they will charge consumers, if at all. For retailers, the pilot project offers a chance to test a trend that’s already available in many U.S. cities and appeal to consumers who want stuff fast, but don’t want to go to a store.