Greengrocer: Technical leverage

"Some of the best chefs in Australia are now buying their fruit and veg sight unseen from the buyers at Greengrocer.com.

"Some of the best chefs in Australia are now buying their fruit and veg sight unseen from the buyers at Greengrocer.com.au. If we can supply them - and they are pretty fussy people - I think that gives us the qualification to do a good job for everyone."

- Doug Carlson
Managing Director
Greengrocer.com.au

The essential market advantage Greengrocer.com.au is using to differentiate from traditional businesses is its cost-efficiency.

According to Carlson, Greengrocer.com.au passes the cost-savings on to its customers by providing better service and products, while a traditional bricks and mortar company doesn't save the costs and ends up charging more for providing the extra service.

"They are not taking advantage of what the Internet can do for their company or their consumers", says Carlson.

Greengrocer.com.au customers log-on to the site, browse through the lists of available groceries and place their choices in a virtual shopping basket. They then enter their preferred delivery time and make their payment through an online credit card facility.

At midnight a buyer's list is compiled, and automatically e-mailed to the to the buyers in Melbourne and Sydney - effectively the goods are sold before they are bought, which cuts out bad debts. The process then moves from the markets out to a central warehouse in each capital city where the pickers and packers prepare the orders and place them in refrigerated trucks for delivery.

To drive return traffic, Carlson sends out a newsletter via email telling customers what's on special, what to buy and what not to buy, based on appraisals from the buyers at the markets.

Carlson maintains that this way the company can provide competitive pricing whilst offering a wide range of value-added services.

Since Greengrocer.com.au do not have the burden of stock which they need to off-load, Carlson claims "we can have an honest relationship with customers."

Every single customer email is replied to either by Carlson or by the customer service representatives who are given the authority to act on a customer's suggestions.

Recently Carlson purchased two businesses, one in Sydney and one 800 kilometres away in Melbourne. Both businesses have personnel supplying the top restaurants in each city.

"Some of the best chefs in Australia are now buying their fruit and veg sight unseen from the buyers at Greengrocer.com.au. If we can supply them - and they are pretty fussy people - I think that gives us the qualification to do a good job for everyone."

Next: Part 3 of 4 >

Greengrocer: A case study

Culture of the business

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