Le Panier bleu launches its transactional site
The new version of the Blue Basket went live on Wednesday.< /p>
Two years after its creation, at the start of the pandemic, it is now possible to make purchases on the Blue Basket website.
This transactional site now hosts 125 Quebec merchants and displays nearly 40,000 products. We want to add merchants every week by Christmas to reach 300 or 400 by the end of November, explains the general manager of the Blue Basket, Alain Dumas, in an interview.
On the site, we can read that it is a beta version. However, the platform is functional, assures Mr. Dumas. We wanted people to understand that we continue to evolve for the holiday season. […] People can make a transaction. They can pay. They can create an account. The standard transactions of a place of commerce are functional, he specifies.
In the medium term, Le Panier bleu aims to welcome other merchants. Mr. Dumas invites merchants who want to join this platform from January 2023 to start the process now. The goal? Reach approximately 1,000 merchants by the end of 2023.
The company hopes to learn about consumer behavior over the holiday season. For example, pick up in store will be offered by some merchants. Interest in this option will be closely monitored closer to Christmas, when some consumers fear they will not receive their packages on time, Dumas explains.
It is also possible to filter the results of a search by administrative region. As the number of merchants increases, Le Panier bleu could offer an even more precise geographical proximity filter.
Le Panier bleu operators had already made their intentions known last June. They had announced that Le Panier bleu was becoming a private company and that they would launch a transactional site before the 2022 holiday season to allow Quebec companies to compete with Amazon on its land.
The company has four shareholders: Investissement Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Mouvement Desjardins and Lightspeed. None of the partners holds a majority stake.
The Blue Basket's mission will help certain merchants who want to be more competitive on the web, underlines Mr. Dumas.
I'll give you an example: we have a merchant who plugged into Le Panier bleu and we realized that his product descriptions were really bad, which meant that he was poorly indexed in search engines. We accompanied him to improve his descriptions. It improved its indexing not only in the Blue Basket but also outside [on another website].
To sell on Le Panier bleu, merchants must have their head office in Quebec. Foreign retailers whose 75% of stores in Quebec are owned by local franchisees will also have access to this platform. The items sold must also be stored in Quebec at the time of the sale.
It remains to be seen whether consumers will want to give the Blue Basket a second chance, which had received a mixed reception in due to the lack of a transactional platform. Initially, the transactional site was expected for the 2021 Holidays.
Only 14% of Quebecers would have used Le Panier bleu before it was possible to make transactions there. purchases, according to a NETendances survey published in March. Just under half of respondents, 46%, said they would use this tool once it has a transactional component.
The more it there will be offers from merchants and Quebec products on the web, the more likely it will be that consumers will be challenged by that, believes Mr. Dumas. By adding a player, we add even more presence for traders.