Wesco, Hutchinson Oil dba Hutch’s and FavTrip — longtime Vroom Delivery customers — as well as other professional investors were part of a fundraising round for Vroom. Vroom is a provider of proprietary e-commerce software for the convenience retail industry.
The new capital will allow Vroom to accelerate its growth and continue to invest in new feature and automation development, as well as to enhance the company’s onboarding and account management programs. The company has experienced rapid growth over the past few years, having now partnered with chains representing thousands of stores in nearly 40 states.
Wesco, headquartered in Muskegon, Mich., was the first chain to join the Vroom platform in 2018. Initially offering in-store pickup from select stores with hot food, Wesco now offers home delivery from 36 of its sites and curbside and in-store pickup from all 56 stores in Western, Mich.
Wesco was instrumental in helping shape the Vroom Delivery platform to solve the unique and complex needs of the convenience store industry. Wesco has launched new online features such as online SNAP/EBT payments, menu and inventory automation and online loyalty. In recent weeks, it became the first retailer to integrate its e-commerce program with PDI Loyalty.
“Year over year we continue to see sales grow. We have been able to establish that a customer who is ordering for home delivery generates a basket size almost three times ring as a customer who visits our store directly,” said Nancy Westgate-Systema, co-president of Wesco. “But even beyond the increases in sales, we have gained other benefits that maybe we didn’t initially anticipate. This feedback from one of our customer survey comments about their Vroom order says it best: ‘Always great service, and the customer service is always positive … Very helpful for people that have health issues and cannot get out or are able to have someone do errands for them.’ These types of replies cause a real pause for us for a moment, as we knew doing something like this would help our customers, but we hadn’t realized just how much.”
Elk City, Okla.-based Hutchinson Oil was another early client of Vroom Delivery, joining in 2019. The Hutch’s c-stores are large format sites that offer a robust foodservice program to their customers in largely rural areas of Oklahoma. It has had particular success in using Vroom to attract customers to its drive-through, while also providing delivery and curbside pickup in several markets. Its food offering and customer service regularly receive the highest customer rankings of stores on the Vroom platform.
FavTrip in Kansas City, Mo., has often played the role of first adopter of new features on Vroom. FavTrip was the first convenience retailer in the country to launch online EBT payments, as well as the first to utilize Vroom’s white-label third-party delivery aggregation service that allows stores to cost-effectively deliver orders through driver networks such as DoorDash Drive and Uber Direct. FavTrip CEO, Babir Sultan, is also an influencer in the convenience industry and has hundreds of thousands of followers across his various social media platforms.
“We are humbled by the confidence that our customers have in our product, our team and our ability to continue to bring the industry online,” said John Nelson, CEO of Vroom Delivery. “Our mission is to provide an online ordering experience for consumers that delivers a seamless omnichannel experience: the same deals, coupons, product selection, loyalty and payment options. We have already achieved many of these goals, and this commitment from our customers helps us get the rest of the way there.”