We know it wasn’t easy transitioning to shopping from memory when the store closed during the lockdown earlier this year. We appreciate your patience and support as we figured out a way for you to shop at the co-op from home. It was a steep learning curve all around!
Online shopping at the Co-op will be getting easier and more fun very soon. In the next couple of weeks, we will be launching our new online store, called Webcart, complete with item photos, prices, and a powerful search function. We understand that change can be challenging, so we plan to allow several weeks of overlap as we transition, allowing you to take some time getting used to Webcart while still placing Curbside Co-op orders in the traditional way.
E-commerce is costly and complex, and we wanted to do our homework before making the investment on behalf of members, in order to ensure that it would add value for our shoppers. In the past, there has not been much demand for e-commerce at the Co-op. However, with the onset (and now ongoing and developing nature) of the pandemic, the demand for online shopping at the Co-op has increased dramatically, and we believe now is the right time to make this move.
Our platform is securely integrated with our Point of Sale (POS) system, so most items we carry in the store will be available to browse and purchase. We have been working for the past several weeks clarifying item info and testing settings and functionality in order to provide as seamless and enjoyable a shopping experience as possible. It will take some time to load photos and nutritional information for the nearly 10,000 items we carry and in that sense the online store will not be perfect right out of the gate – it will be a continuous work-in-progress. We will refine elements of the site as we all work with it, using your feedback to make it better. True to the nature of our business, it will be a co-operative effort: we’ll build it together.
- You will log into the Co-op’s online store with your phone number or email address on record, where you can reference your shopping history, create shopping lists, and update your contact info. If you have a senior or working member discount, it will be reflected in your shopping cart.
- You will be able to browse the Co-op’s inventory easily, adding items to your shopping cart as you go, on a fully-functional website with instructions, product photos, sale prices, and powerful search capabilities.
- No more typing, copying, and pasting your shopping list into an order form. Just point and click to add things to your shopping cart. You’ll also be able to replicate entire past orders and modify them, or you can start fresh each time.
- Curbside pick-up will work about the same as before – the wait time is generally 24-48 hours. You’ll be able to reserve a pick-up day and time, and you’ll be notified via text and email when your order is ready. As always, call us when you arrive, and we’ll bring your purchases out to your car.
- Card on File – If you currently keep a credit or debit card on file at the Co-op for curbside purchases, you can keep using that convenient and secure payment option. If you do not, this can be requested during Pay at Pickup for convenient use on future orders.
- Gift Cards – If you currently keep a gift card on file at the Co-op for curbside purchases, you can continue to use that.
- Pay at Pickup – Use cash, check, or card (credit, debit, SNAP) when you pick up your order. If you prefer not to come into the store, Co-op staff will come out to your car to retrieve payment.
- Online payments – At this time, we will not be offering online payments through our website.
The staff has been very busy building our site, cleaning our database, testing, and setting things up to make for a seamless transition. We hope you’ll try out Webcart when it’s ready and let us know what you think. Constructive feedback from shoppers is really helpful, so please use the Contact Us form to tell us about your experience. We also appreciate your patience, support, and cooperation as we navigate the new territory of e-commerce.
Keep sending in those Curbside orders, and don’t forget to update your Customer info. You can also check out Fiddleheads Food Co-op’s online store – it will give you a sense of what to expect.