Editor’s note: Since this interview was completed, Instabuggy has expanded its service into the Greater Toronto Area and added new partners such as Summerhill Market, Galati Market Fresh and Organic Natural Market. First time users of the Instabuggy service can use the promo code “savetime” to receive 10 per cent off their first order.
Toronto – A new geo-location based service in Toronto is making it easier for Canadians to shop for groceries.
Tapping into a growing need for on-demand services, Instabuggy is an app that lets consumers do their grocery shopping online and have their order delivered in as little as an hour.
“We’re offering white glove service that doesn’t exist in Canada today,” explains Instabuggy CEO and founder Julian Gleizer. “Users enter the postal code where they want an order delivered and all the available grocery stores in that radius will pop-up, letting customers choose where they would like to shop from.”
Where Instabuggy differs from other grocery delivery services is that customers are given a number of stores or chains to shop from and orders are filled for delivery right away – Gleizer describes it as a portal where users can shop at the store of their choice and pay for their purchases online.
Once an order is placed, it gets pinged to the selected store for fulfillment. The startup works very closely with retailers, partnering with grocery stores, for example, to have its order pickers and packers located in-store, where they “shop” orders alongside ordinary grocery shoppers.
“The food itself is housed by actual grocery stores, so Instabuggy guarantees freshness and the highest quality for your order,” says Gleizer, adding that Instabuggy’s staff has grocery retail experience as well as undergoing training in product selection.
According to Gleizer, whose background is in marketing, digital and e-commerce, the inspiration for the service came from his own experiences when a close family member was ill and he ended up doing daily grocery shopping.
The service is ideal for seniors or others who aren’t able to do their own shopping or don’t own a vehicle to let them bring heavy items home from the store easily, but it also caters to convenience-craving Millennials who have grown up in the Internet era and expect on-demand fulfillment of needs and wants.
Instabuggy went live this past April in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and is continuously adding more stores to its platform.
Currently, it covers Toronto’s downtown core from Eglington to Lake Ontario and from Islington to Woodbine, but significant expansion is in the works. Each grocery outlet that joins the Instabuggy network will have dedicated order pickers and packers in-store.
“We are scaling up across the GTA and then going national – we’ll be adding Ottawa as well as Vancouver and Calgary in the near future,” he says.
Instabuggy’s order minimum is $35, and delivery is free for a customer’s first order, as well as orders valued at over $80. Current delivery charges are $9.99 for orders $35-60 and $5.99 for orders $60-80.
The company is working with retailers to offer the same prices on Instabuggy as they have in-store and is also planning to provide free delivery.
“We provide a solution for a problem that exists today for many consumers who are too busy or aren’t able to do their own grocery shopping – we’re providing that convenience of getting your groceries on demand when you need them,” Gleizer says. “Our goal is to demonstrate the customer service experience and once customers try it, they love it so we are acquiring customers at a very rapid pace.”