Costco Sees Boom in E-Commerce Sales

By Sam McConnell | 17 Dec 2018

Costco has released its first-quarter sales for FY19, revealing an increase in online sales over the three-month period.

According to Costco’s latest financial statement, the wholesale grocery retailer that runs online stores in the US, Canada, UK, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan has increased its e-commerce revenue by 32.3 percent. The business’s net sales also rose by 10.3 percent to $34.31 billion, from $31.12 billion for the same period in 2017.

In a conference call discussing the earnings last week, Costco’s CFO, Richard Galanti, said that the business has achieved positive momentum through its digital touchpoints.

“Overall, e-commerce sales continue to increase at good levels,” he said. “We’ve established all kinds of records for orders and sales during Black Friday and continuing through Cyber Monday weekend, as I’m sure many others have as well.”

He also said that the top online growth categories for the quarter were grocery, hardware, consumer electronics, automotive and health and beauty. Galanti believes that updates to Costco’s digital user experience has also contributed to an increase in online visitors and conversions. “One highlight of our website refinement during the quarter was our redesign of the home categories. We feel that the refresh made departments like furniture, domestics and homewares easier to shop,” he explained.

Costco originally entered the online grocery market in October 2017, and since then, Galanti says its same-day and click-and-collect fulfilment options have expanded across the US.

“Same-day grocery delivery is now available to members within a 20-minute drive of 99 percent of our US locations. Two-day grocery, which we do for our business centre is available throughout the Continental United States.”

In terms of buying online and picking up in-store, Costco has reportedly improved its offerings by testing parcel pick-up lockers in 10 locations. “Overall, these efforts continue to impact the business positively, not just online but also in our warehouse and for sales across both channels,” he said.

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