Digging into a new channel: How a great partner helped RICARDO carve out a path to success

5 minute read

Expansion is an exciting endeavour for any business to undertake. Whether you’re moving into a new market, providing a new service, or launching a new channel, you’re entering uncharted territory which could be ripe with opportunity.

There is a lot to plan for in any expansion scenario and a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. As a result, it’s best for the expanding business to focus on what it does best and rely on a trusted network of partners for support – instead of trying to be a jack of all trades.

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The right partners trump a know-it-all

While it is certainly possible to do everything yourself, it’s not always wise. By leveraging key partners, retailers can successfully expand their operations without over-extending their staff or having to acquire new expertise.

In 2017, with a hit TV show, magazine, recipe website and Boutique and Café locations already under its umbrella, the brand launched the online store that now offers signature tableware, small appliances, kitchen tools and gourmet food. RICARDO wanted to ensure that this new venture would be successful. To achieve that goal, the brand turned to Canada Post for help.

In 2017, with a hit TV show, magazine, recipe website and Boutique and Café locations already under its umbrella, the brand launched the online store that now offers signature tableware, small appliances, kitchen tools and gourmet food.

A partner that expands with you

Before the expansion, Canada Post had already worked with RICARDO for 16 years. “It made sense to keep working with (Canada Post) when we launched our online store in 2017,”  said Mireille Arteau, Commercial Director at RICARDO Media. “In addition to delivering hundreds of thousands of copies of RICARDO magazine, Canada Post now delivers all of our parcels, approximately 1,000 per month .”

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Pour avoir cuisiné nos recettes et rassemblé une belle gang autour de la table, @lillycroteau est la grande gagnante !🎉🎉🎉// Our big winner is @lillycroteau, who cooked our recipes and gathered loved ones around the table! . . . . . . CONCOURS🌷📸Partagez-nous une photo de la couverture de notre dernier magazine dans votre contexte préféré et courez la chance de gagner un abonnement d’un an au magazine RICARDO ainsi qu’une carte-cadeau de 50 $, valide à notre Boutique. Pour participer, identifier @ricardocuisine dans la photo que vous choisirez de publier dans votre feed Instagram ou encore, en story. La photo qui se démarquera le plus déterminera le gagnant que nous annoncerons dans la publication, le 7 avril prochain. Soyez créatif et surtout, ayez du plaisir ! #ricardocuisine . . . . . . CONTEST🌷📸Share with us a pic of our latest magazine’s cover in your preferred context and you automatically get a chance to win a one-year RICARDO magazine suscription (French only) and a $50 gift card you can use online or in-store. To enter, simply tag @ricardocuisine in your photo, sharing it either in your feed or as an Instagram Story. Our favourite, most stand-out photo will be selected, and the winner will be announced on April 7. Be creative, and have fun! #ricardocuisine

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When launching their new online store, RICARDO set out to reach culinary-minded Canadians across the country. This included customers that lived in urban, suburban, and even rural areas. They were aggressive about it, not wanting to leave any potential customers on the table. As the only delivery provider in Canada that ships to every address in the country, Canada Post was the ideal shipper to partner with.

“Canada Post enables us to assist our customers throughout their shopping experience. We appreciate the speed and affordability of their delivery services,” said Arteau, adding that the company chose to use Canada Post’s Expedited ParcelTM service for its value, delivery speed and insurance coverage of up to $100. “Plus, its strategic vision of the market, sector and best practices effectively supports our own vision.”

Canada Post enables us to assist our customers throughout their shopping experience. We appreciate the speed and affordability of their delivery services.

Mireille Arteau

Commercial Director

RICARDO Media

Turning up the heat on sales

With the partnership between RICARDO and Canada Post proving to be a good fit, RICARDO endeavoured to do more to meet and exceed its new online customers’ expectations. To motivate them to hit the buy button, the brand implemented a free shipping threshold of $75 for the store – something that 80 per cent of their customers enjoyed. To their delight, this helped drive an astonishing 553 per cent increase in orders and a 298 per cent increase in sales.

Pleased with the incredible success of their free shipping threshold tactic, RICARDO introduced even more changes in order to inspire bigger purchases and increase customer confidence. They implemented:

  • Simplified checkout. Customers could choose from a variety of delivery options. Canada Post research indicates this is what customers want – 21 per cent of shoppers will complete an online purchase if offered flexible delivery and pickup options at checkout1.
  • Easy tracking. This shipping feature enables customers to monitor their package throughout the delivery journey, giving them greater peace of mind.
  • Simple returns policy. RICARDO opted to provide return labels to customers on request. A customer-friendly returns policy helps to increase shopper confidence and reduce cart abandonment at checkout. This method also allows RICARDO to gather valuable customer data which they will use to better connect with their customers in future.
A screenshot of RICARDO’s website featuring recipes, cookbooks, and food videos.

A screenshot of RICARDO’s website featuring recipes, cookbooks, and food videos.

RICARDO’s new tactics have paid off – the average value of an online order now exceeds the average value of an in-store purchase for the business and RICARDO’s conversion rate has increased by 46 per cent year-over-year.

Carving a bigger path

In future, RICARDO intends to introduce its culinary arsenal to foodies across the border. They will rely on the expertise of Canada Post, their trusted delivery partner, to do so. “As our online store helps us access foreign markets,” said Arteau, “Canada Post’s trans-border solutions will prove invaluable to us.”

A partner to lean on

Expansion is a big endeavour for any retailer, but you don’t have to do it alone. The right partner will help you every step of the way on your journey to success. If you leverage your partners and use their expertise, you too can carve out a fruitful path for your business.

Source
Canada Post. 2018 Canadian Online Shopper Study, CPC 18-200, April 2018.

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