The Ontario Cannabis Store received a lot of complaints about its slow delivery when it started selling pot back in October. However, the government-run organization is now looking to offer consumers much quicker turnaround times, in the form of same-day delivery.
It’s a growing trend we’ve seen in the world of retail and one that the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC) recognizes is important to its customers as well: “As OCRC’s marketplace evolves, the ability for the organization to provide a variety of delivery options to meet customers’ expectations is imperative to the growth of its e-commerce business.”
Now, before that happens the OCRC first needs to find a company to make the deliveries which is the stage that it is at now. Initially, the deliveries will begin in the Greater Toronto Area and could expand afterward if it proves to be successful. Currently, the OCRC is accepting bids from interested vendors until February 4. The roll out of same-day delivery could happen as early as March and the initial term that the OCRC is looking for is 22 months.
Would same-day delivery solve the province’s problems?
There are a couple of problems that I see with the pot model in Canada right now. One is availability and the other is price.
In terms of availability, same-day delivery would certainly reduce the need for pot shops to be open and available to consumers. After all, the main advantage of a pot shop is to be able to go in and get the product you need in the same day. There’s nothing like long shipping times to discourage customers these days, especially when companies like Amazon offering same-day shipping options in many cities.
Depending on how successful OCRC is in implementing delivery, it could result in even more demand for its products. Customers may not even want to go to pot shops if they can get their purchases delivered the same day. And that means it’s going to be more challenging for pot shops when they launch in Ontario to be competitive.
While there’s many people that will undoubtedly go in-store to buy pot, there’s a large segment of the population that would also prefer to order online and not even go in-store to make a purchase, especially if they don’t have to wait around for shipping. The one caveat, however, is the price tag. If shipping costs add a lot to an already expensive product, then it might negate the benefit.
Prices are already high and are another big reason why many consumers are likely still going to the black markets to purchase pot. While same-day delivery won’t do anything on that front, it’s still a step in the right direction for the industry.
Sales in Ontario down for November
We recently learned that sales in Ontario were down in November (compared to October), despite it being a full month’s worth of sales. Perhaps it’s no surprise given the challenges that the OCRC had in the first few weeks of operation, which likely turned away many customers. However, if it can win consumers back with same-day delivery, there could be a lot more potential for the OCRC and the industry as a whole.