Friday, June 14, 2024

NoQ rings up supermarket success online

Australian e-commerce company NoQ has delivered an online bonus for dozens of independent supermarkets Australia-wide that are defending their businesses from attack by the grocery giants.

NoQ was launched in September 2011 as an easy-to-use and affordable system that equips retailers to accept pre-orders and payments placed by customers with a smartphone. The company has since grown strongly, currently employing 25 people at its Adelaide head office to service clients nationally.

Founder Brad Moran says that during the past two years, NoQ has sold its online ordering system to more than 70 supermarkets from Western Australia to Tasmania, helping them win new business at a lower cost.

“Our customers show that you can make money online if you do it well,” he said. “The great discovery for independent retailers is that buying behaviours are different online. Customers tend to order their full weekly shop online, rather than bits and pieces, so they spend much more. Instead of being a secondary shopping location, it becomes the customer’s primary store.”

Since launching its first version into the fast-food and coffee markets, NoQ has redeveloped its entire e-commerce platform to meet the needs of retailers such as independent supermarkets.

St Helens SUPA IGA in north-east Tasmania claims to have acquired dozens of new customers since it began selling online with NoQ. Store owner Kemuel Wood says NoQ online sales provided his customers with an extra level of service.

“During the past year, 80 per cent of our online customers have been new to us, so NoQ is terrific at extending the reach of our business,” he said. “Our online business now delivers groceries to customers who live 150-160 kilometres away.

“It’s a profitable business. Our average basket this month was $194.96 online compared with $37.60 in-store. Also, eight of our 10 best-selling products are fresh products, which is not the case with online sales by the big chains, so we’re building up a relationship of trust with our customers.”

Mr Moran says NoQ has spent more than $3 million to re-engineer the entire system to become a totally scalable ‘software-as-a-service’ platform, setting it apart from the competition.

“Independent retailers require more than just an e-commerce store to succeed online,” he said. “They need a system that is embedded in the way they operate. For example, our iPad fulfilment application reduces the cost of picking orders [cutting the average time taken] from an hour to just 20 minutes, which makes it more profitable for stores to sell online.

“We’re now integrating NoQ with Bluetooth beacons around the store, so we know where each of the products is located, allowing us to map the store out much quicker. It’s all about efficiency.”

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