The story of well.ca is an eCommerce fairy tale. One of humble beginnings, quick, healthy growth, and innovation so forward-thinking, competitors are left envious. Ali Asaria, founder and CEO of well.ca started a business out of a closet in his parents’ pharmacy, but he had visions of expanding to new levels, and selling products in new ways.
From the beginning, Ali knew where he wanted to take his company, and where he didn’t. A personal touch has always been the foundation of well.ca’s integrity. Personal thank you notes are included in every shipment, of which staff members have hand written over one million. Ali knew from the beginning that automation was not the direction for well.ca. He liked to keep it simple, and instead focused resourcing on making the most user friendly website for selling well.ca’s over 50,000 products.
With no street-level presence, overhead costs go down significantly. On the other hand, well.ca also doesn’t have major warehousing space, which could force them into JIT (just in time) ordering from suppliers; expensive in comparison to the bulk purchasing power of Shoppers Drug Mart et al. Ali isn’t concerned. He’s not in it for the money. He wants to change the way people shop, and make it easy and convenient to shop online. With prices on par with his competitors, he draws consumers back with the well.ca experience.
Our focus is on giving customers a simple and hassle‐free shopping experience with a personalized touch with each package shipped. With over 100 employees and 1 million orders shipped, we are great at making the lives of busy Canadians a little bit easier. (about.well.ca)
Ways that well.ca is winning in the supply chain:
- A strong partnerships with suppliers – of which Well.ca limits its realm, building a loyal relationship.
- With an excellent relationship with Canada Post, who in 2012 awarded well.ca with their Outside the Box Achievement Award.
- By being a great place to work – something very important to Ali, and reinforced all over their company blog and facebook page.
- Let’s not forget being good to their clients, asking Canadians what products they’d like to see, and then delivering them right to front doors across Canada – for free!
- By being innovative, with a smart phone app that allows customers to scan barcodes of their favorite products and order them instantly. The app also has a ‘my cupboard’ feature, where you can easily find and re-order your favorite products. Don’t feel like re-ordering? No problem. Well.ca has a subscription program where you set the frequency and they won’t forget to bring home the milk. Ever!
Lessons for everyone
Out of the box supply chain navigation pays! Though automation is certainly predominant and economical in today’s society, sometimes it pays to be original, and true to your vision. People love the hands-on approach of well.ca, and feel good about supporting a company with such integrity. Now THAT builds brand power!
Submitted by: Amanda Houseman – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.
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