By Steve Fisher
SOME PEOPLE THINK Costco.ca is merely
an online mirror of Costco warehouses. Not
quite. Costco.ca provides what Coscto warehouses o;er and so much more. And that goes
beyond the catalogue of products and services.
Jean Lapointe, assistant general merchan-
At your service
dise manager for Costco.ca, says, “We’re always
looking for the newest and best products and
services. Our next emphasis for Costco.ca is on
the member experience. Technology has
developed some wonderful online tools, and
we want our members to be able to take full
advantage of them.”
Here are a baker’s dozen of features already
on the site or in development.
Costco.ca makes easy
shopping a (virtual) reality
9. Recalls. Costco is immediately noti;ed
of recalls for all products sold in the warehouses and online. Recalls are veri;ed and
posted on Costco.ca. Click on “Customer
Service,” then on “Product Notices,” for up-to-date information.
1. Hot buys, weekly specials and savings. Look on the right sidebar of the home
page to ;nd some of the best products and
deals that Costco.ca has to o;er.
10. Frequently asked questions. ;is
section of “Customer Service” is not exactly
new, but as new questions come up, it is
always being updated.
2. New items at your local warehouse.
Members can research their local warehouse
and view the new items available. Click on “In
the Warehouse,” then on “What’s New at
demonstrated in the warehouse. Now some
online products feature videos to show their
uses and functionality. ;ese videos are for
items only found online at Costco.ca, not in
11. Special events. Local warehouses
regularly feature limited-time offerings of
unique products. For a complete list of what’s
available where and when, go to Costco.ca,
click on the “In the Warehouse” button on the
right sidebar, then on “Special Events.”
Costco,” and follow the instructions.
3. Virtual hold system. If you need to
call Costco.ca regarding an order, representatives may not be immediately available.
Instead of sitting with the phone glued to
your ear, and waiting for the next available
representative, you can opt to get a return call.
7. Abandoned-cart e-mail. Many people
shop online because their busy schedules
don’t a;ord them time to go “
brick-and-mor-tar” shopping, but even online shopping gets
interrupted. Now members who still have
items in their cart receive an e-mail—usually
the next business day—inviting them back to
complete the purchase.
12. The Costco Connection. If you don’t
receive the award-winning Costco Connection
magazine by mail, or missed it in the warehouse, you’ll ;nd it on Costco.ca, along with
several years’ worth of back issues. Look for
;e Costco Connection button at the bottom of
the Costco.ca home page.
4. Product reviews. If you want to share
your experience with a product purchased
online, simply go to the page featuring the item
and click on “Product Reviews,” and then on
8. Enhanced pharmacy information.
Do research on diseases, drugs, pharmacy
services and upcoming clinics at Costco
warehouses. Go to the “Health” menu and
click on “About Pharmacy.”
“Review this product.”
“You’re probably thinking
that’s all well and good if you
liked it, but what if you didn’t?
We want to know,” Lapointe
says. “We take our product
reviews very seriously and use
them to improve our products and services.”
13. Membership. Renew your member-
ship online, apply for an American Express
True Earnings Card, buy Costco Cash Cards
or give the gift of Costco membership to
someone you love. Go to Costco.ca and click
Of course, all of these are just ways to ;nd
great products and services, but the best way
to see what Costco.ca has to o;er is to start
sur;ng and explore the not-so-hidden trea-
sures. (;e story on page 63 about the Photo
Centres might give you a great starting point.)
5. Social networking.
Members o;en call friends
and family to recommend
products. Costco.ca now
o;ers access to social networking sites. Click on the
social media icons on a
product page and share.
If you’re new to shopping online, look for
informational videos on the demo TVs right
inside the entrance the next time you’re in a
Costco warehouse. And be sure to sign up for
exclusive o;ers by e-mail on the home page
and be the ;rst to know about instant-saving
promotions exclusive to Costco.ca.
6. Product demos.
Products are sometimes
Lapointe says, “Our goal is to ensure our
members are always kept up to date with the
latest and best products and information
Costco.ca has to o;er.” C