SEATTLE -- The General Store International Corp. here, a home delivery service offering groceries and services such as dry cleaning, expects to launch its on-line grocery shopping site later this month.
In preparation for the increased sales expected from the Internet site, the company rolled out a wireless point-of-sale terminal last month that enables the processing of credit and debit card transactions at the customer's home.
"[We] stand by our commitment of old-fashioned customer service blended with the latest technology to provide the best experience for our customer," said CEO Glen Easthope. "We delivery groceries to the door. Why not take care of the payment there as well. It makes sense," he said.
The company has been providing access to the service via a CD-ROM catalog. Customers are able to choose items from the CD-ROM and download completed orders to the company. Orders can also be phoned in or faxed. These methods of ordering will continue to be available once the Web site has launched.
He noted that processing the transaction at the time of delivery would ease security concerns for on-line shoppers. The service charges $4.95 for next-day service.
While consumers have become more comfortable with the idea of sending credit card data over the Internet, industry observers note that security considerations are still keeping some consumers from shopping on-line.
In addition, he noted that the wireless point-of-sale system has expanded the payment options available to customers. "We're now able to accept debit cards, which we are finding are a popular method of payment," he said. Users can enter their personal identification number on the device, which is necessary to complete the transaction."That is something we have to do at the door," Easthope said.
General Store has been using the hand-held device in its Vancouver market last month and expects to expand its use to Washington and Utah.
"As we have recently finalized approval to sell franchises in Washington and Utah, these two markets are targeted for expansion of the [wireless] point-of-sale," he said.
The wireless POS terminal is from Soft Tracks, Richmond, British Columbia. The wireless terminal was developed in partnership with Vancouver City Savings and Credit Union, Vancouver.