According to NoQ – no queue – founder Brad Moran the online ordering system helps the independent supermarkets to win new business at a lower cost.
Moran said online sales were vital for the survival of independent supermarkets. “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, they become the customer's primary store.
The Adelaide-based 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.
Moran, a former AFL ruckman with the Adelaide Crows, says the company has since grown strongly, currently employing 25 people at its Adelaide head office to service clients nationally.
Its chairman is Raymond Spencer, an internationally successful businessman who since returning to his hometown of Adelaide in 2009 has served as Chairman of the South Australian Economic Development Board.
In 2012, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank bought a strategic equity stake in NoQ.
Moran says that since launching its first version of its online ordering system 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.
Moran cites the success of one customer - Co-op Fresh Foodland at Nuriootpa – in using the system.
He says the company has sold online for the past three years, and reports that its online sales grew by 10% in the four weeks after it deployed NoQ.
The Co-op’s Information Services Manager Rob Zander said NoQ had also extended the supermarket’s sales reach, with deliveries to as far away as Clare and Blanchetown. “We’ve had really positive feedback from customers, who like the new website and find it easy to use.
“We’re also using the NoQ iPad picking app, which we’ve found has provided greater efficiencies. It’s helping us pick quicker so, as a result, we can do more orders in a day. NoQ’s service has been really good. The Co-op is about building partnerships with our suppliers. What we like about NoQ is that it has a similar culture and is open to our suggestions about how to develop its product further.”
Moran said NoQ had spent more than $3 million to completely re-engineer the entire system “to become a totally scalable SaaS platform that sets us apart from the competition”.
“Independent retailers require more than just an e-commerce store to succeed online: They need a system that is embedded in the way they operate. For example, our iPad fulfilment application reduces the cost of picking orders from an hour to just 20 minutes, which makes it more profitable for stores to sell online.
“Reducing that cost removes a barrier to entry for independents to get online. That’s one of our key differentiators, which is why we’ve got a lot of adoption in this market.
“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.”