Local online shopping
portal WantItAll has partnered with bulk retailer Makro
, to bring selected products to the Web.
WantItAll CEO Justin Drennan says the deal, which is still in the test phase, will see the online business pull products from the established Makro Web site and integrate them with WantItAll's logistics platform.
Drennan says the company is excited by the deal and believes that, as a partner model, it has great potential. “Using our technology means they don't have to go out and do it themselves,” he says.
Makro was one of the first bricks-and-mortar retailers to have an online presence in the early days of the Internet. However, the company's business model of low-cost, high-volume trading was not well suited to an online option at the time.
According to Makro's marketing director, Chris Nezar, the pilot with WantItAll allows the company to work around the early logistical issues, using the online access as a companion to in-store shopping. “People still need the in-store experience, and the online option is just an added choice for convenience,” he notes.
WantItAll will not carry all Makro's products, since some of them are logistically impractical, and others, like liquor, require licensing. However, Nezar says for customers on the run, looking for those urgent reams of paper, without the time to go into the store, the online portal is ideal.
Pricing is identical to in-store, with a fulfilment fee added by WantItAll depending on volume, distance and value of product.
The portal was soft launched in November last year, and Makro has been testing the online waters since. Nezar says the plan is to give customers the convenience option when they require it, and the company will step up the marketing around the portal over the next few months.
Drennan says he hopes to grow the partnership with Makro online