eTail West 2019

February 19 - 22, 2019

JW Marriott, Palm Springs, CA

1.888.482.6012

Here's How Kroger is Taking Uber Steps to Innovate Grocery Deliveries



With revenue at $115,337 million, and its place at number 18 on the Fortune 500 list, Kroger is the largest grocery supermarket brand in the United States. Beginning life way back in 1883, in Cincinnati, Kroger has seen the world change around it, and has had to constantly remain agile and flexible to keep up with a developing industry.

ClickList

In the second century the brand has operated in, this obviously means embracing the digital world. Kroger adapted to the digital leap by launching its ClickList web and app based service. ClickList allows Kroger customers to order their groceries online, and then arrange a convenient time for the order to be ready by. Customers then simply collect the order from their local store, where they only need pull up in a designated parking space, and a Kroger employee will load the shopping for them.

(Image source: businessinsider.com)

Kroger understands its customers lead busier lives now than ever before, and attach a high value to the amount of convenience a brand can offer them. Gone are the days when one half of a co-habiting couple staying at home to look after the house was the norm. Instead of spending an hour doing the grocery shopping, customers can place the order, and then simply swing by the store on their way home to collect it.

Customers value their time, but they also still value their money. Thankfully, ClickList has this covered as well, as it has functionality which allows customers to apply voucher codes – with some discounts being exclusive to online orders.

(Image source: businessinsider.com)

ClickList has another excellent feature which enables customers to streamline their experience even further. When customers set up their account online, they are asked to register their Kroger loyalty card details. While adding this information allows them to use their accrued discounts with the online service, it has another useful feature besides. Information regarding previous purchases is naturally stored by the loyalty card, so ClickList can easily bring up suggestions based on this data.

This means customers can quickly and easily place repeat orders. Most people buy the same things when they go grocery shopping – with only slight variations based on offers, etc. – so, being able to place identical orders at the touch of a button makes the whole experience even more convenient. This method can also save customers money, as it cuts down on the amount of browsing they must do – reducing the chances of being tempted by extra items.

“The site used my Kroger rewards number to populate the items I purchase most often,” said journalist and Kroger/ClickList customer, Hayley Peterson. “That made it easy to start building my shopping list. For other items, I used the search bar and found exactly what I was looking for in a matter of seconds. This saved me at least 20 minutes of criss-crossing the store in search of random ingredients. And it was so easy to compare prices. Gone are the days of wandering around the condiments aisle trying to pinpoint the cheapest ketchup or mustard brands in a sea of dozens of choices.”

Uber

Unfortunately, Kroger’s position as king of the grocery supermarket is far from stable. With retail giants Amazon and Walmart both venturing into their market, Kroger needs to remain agile to compete. ClickList is a fantastic service which has proved popular with Kroger’s customers, but improvements can always be made.

"As our customers change and evolve, we are taking steps to meet them where they are and more importantly where they are going," Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, said. "We're making meaningful investments in digital. We feel great about these investments because customers tell us they are important to them."

Kroger is therefore looking to make online grocery shopping even more convenient for customers by offering home delivery alongside the click-and-collect service. However, instead of hiring new staff and purchasing an entire fleet of vehicles, Kroger is partnering with ride-hailing taxi company, Uber.

Initially tested in a select few locations, with more to be added as the scheme rolls-out, customers can choose whether to collect their order in-person, or have a local Uber driver bring it to their home. Not only does this initiative offer more convenience to the customer, but also helps support local economies, by offering additional jobs for drivers. Taxi work can often be unstable, therefore the chance of earning regular income by facilitating Kroger deliveries will likely be welcomed

Offering new and increasingly more convenient methods to shop for groceries will help Kroger keep up with the competition.

The last word goes to Kroger CEO, Rodney McMullen.

“We’re testing with Uber delivery in several locations with plans to expand in 2017, where our customers can order through ClickList and choose to have their groceries delivered by a local Uber driver. We could stop these investments given the headwinds our industry is facing. That might make our results look better today, but we are playing for the long-term.”

Home delivery and click-and-collect services are set to be a hot topic at Etail West 2018, taking place at Palm Springs, California, this coming February.

Download the Etail West 2018 Agenda to learn more.