What InABuggy’s rebrand says about its future

The company now known simply as Buggy is looking at rapid delivery to fuel growth plans.

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InABuggy has shaved “ina” from its name and will be henceforth known as Buggy, part of a business shift to micro-fulfilment and continued expansion into delivery of non-food items.

“We made a decision to do a big pivot into what is rapid delivery,” says Nicole Verkindt, the brand’s new CEO, who took the helm after the untimely passing Julian Gleizer, who founded the company in 2015.

Verkindt, who in 2012 launched online supply chain data analytics business OMX, tells strategy that traditionally, InABuggy’s business was divided between robust website and app traffic.

The company is now investing heavily in technology after completely re-building its app and leveraging Canadian ecommerce fulfillment tech company OrderGrid to ensure inventory tracking and restocking is automated.

In May of this year, InABuggy raised $4.6 million in funding to fuel its expansion. The company also recently acquired Toronto and Waterloo-based Ninja Delivery, and is moving into micro-warehouses, dark stores and owning its own inventory to reduce costs.

“We never substitute anything and what’s on the shelf is there goes right in the bag,” Verkindt says.

It is a different neighbourhood marketplace model from what InABuggy did traditionally, which still in part includes 3D virtual shopping portal capabilities, something it recently brought to life at Toronto’s St Lawrence Market.

Regarding its new moniker, Buggy, “it’s a cute word,” Verkindt says.

 

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But also, she says the name change is to better reflect the the market, which typically comprises one-name ultra fast grocery delivery services like Gorilla, new market entrant Tiggy and Ninja. Also, she says, with one name when she pulls it up on her phone, it’s less likely to be confused with something similar and therefore quicker to use.

Verkindt says that what attracted her to the Buggy business was experiencing firsthand what is happening in Europe and the U.S. right now, wherein delivery under 1 hour is practically table stakes.

“Canadians deserve a better way of ordering what they need – and it must be driven by tech,” she says, saying that once her and friends used the service to highspeed an umbrella over during a rainstorm.

Amazon Prime’s delivery speed was a game changer. And Verkindt says traditional in-store shopping can be a real time-consuming headache, and that the proof is in the pudding as in London, similar services have taken 20% of the grocery market, she says.

Beyond grocery, she says Buggy also has pharmacy, pet, office supplies, birthday cards and quick-need categories, comprising 2,500 SKUs outside of food.

Buggy typically had a $200 basket size, but in the new business model, it’s tentatively seeing more frequent orders, and smaller baskets – about $50.

The app officially launched its first micro-warehouse in Toronto’s Leslieville area, and has plans for many more. It’s driving trial with a 20% off a first order.