Italian buying group Selex has started a grocery e-commerce platform called CosìComodo, designed to bring together all its retailer members' banners under a single umbrella. At launch there are three banners signed up for the service: Emisfero (Gruppo Unicomm), Il Gigante and Mercatò (Gruppo Dimar). The goal is that all Selex members will join the platform, allowing it to reach nationwide coverage. Selex President, Maniele Tasca, does not exclude the idea that retailers external to the group might also be welcome to join the platform.
When landing on the site, shoppers get suggestions for stores based on their location and once a store is selected the assortment is adjusted accordingly. So far, fulfilment is only via click & collect with payment instore. However, home delivery and online payment are planned as part of a future strategy.
A joint e-commerce platform is an excellent way for Selex to create further synergies between its members. By gathering all its stores in one place, regardless of which retailer or banner it belongs to, marketing and technical costs can be centralized and thus kept low. It also presents a good opportunity for Selex members to gain wider brand awareness. This could attract new regional members going forward, which is a major part of Selex’s growth strategy.
Despite the fact that many Italian bricks & mortar retailers have already ventured into grocery e-commerce, their channel turnover is still very modest. Early mover Esselunga A Casa is the exception to this as LZ Retailytics data shows. Establishing itself as a click & collect service nationwide could therefore give CosìComodo early mover advantages if it can achieve this goal quickly enough. Only Carrefour can claim to offer the same in the country at the moment and the Drives operated by Finiper and Bennet are unlikely to expand past the retailers’ regional store network coverage. The two market leaders Coop Italia and Conad are also yet to introduce click & collect on any wider scale. Coop offers home delivery through its newly launched Easycoop service and Conad offers click & collect as well as home delivery, but only through its Tyrrhenian co-operative initiative Digital Conad.