Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Albertsons partners with Google But Independent Grocerant Can Win with Fresh Food


Success does leave clues and when two large companies the ilk of Albertsons / Safeway partner with Google you know the amount of information exchange will lead to incremental knoweledge edifying both companies according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Given that these two companies have been collaborating for past year on range of omnichannel solutions you know the insights have been advantageous on both sides for them to enter into this sweeping partnership creating a more interactive and convenient shopping experience aka advantage for Albertsons / Safeway.  We ask but will that be enough to get them out of the rut (stuck in the middle)? 

Walmart moved to the middle three years ago displacing both Kroger and Albertsons / Safeway moving them down in the middle as Walmart moved up into the middle in the mind-set of the consumer according to Johnson.

In the new, multiyear agreement, Albertsons has been working with a variety of teams at Google on a spate of solutions to bring more efficiency to customers both in-store and online. Efforts include integrating Google Search and Maps to help shoppers locate products more easily, streamlining the checkout process with Google Pay, and leveraging Google Cloud artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as Vision AI, Recommendations AI and Business Messages into operations to build a predictive grocery engine.

Trying to elevate service innovations emerging through the partnership, include shoppable maps with dynamic hyperlocal features, AI-powered conversational commerce and predictive grocery list building. Later this year, new functionality also is coming to Google Maps that will enable Albertsons Cos. retail banners to access information about online grocery ordering, pickup and delivery directly within mobile search. 

Albertsons, Chris Rupp, executive vice president and chief customer and digital officer, stated, “Albertsons Cos. is continuing to transform into a modern retailer fit for the future, and we are leading the industry forward by providing the easiest and most exciting shopping experience for our customers “In bringing together Google’s technology expertise with our commitment to customer-centric innovation, we’re providing our customers with a superior shopping experience no matter how they choose to shop with us.” 

Technology is great and has changed all our lives, but according to the team at Foodservice Solutions® there is nothing the customer want more that fresh food fast. Consumers have been migrating from legacy grocery stores to restaurants for meals and meal components at a rate of 9.7% a year from 2016 to 2019.

While the core goal of the partnership will be to make online grocery services easier to use, Albertsons and Google noted. Today, the companies announced new pickup and delivery actions that share additional online information — such as delivery providers, pickup and delivery time windows, fees and order minimums — from Albertsons Cos. stores directly on their Business Profiles in mobile search. That capability also is launching with third-party grocery delivery provider Instacart and is slated to become available on Google Maps for both Albertsons and Instacart later this year. 

Getting grocerant niche fresh food fast is very important Paytronix Systems found that consumers spent a collective $769 billion ordering food from restaurants last year, with 63% of that — or $486 billion —consumed at home.

Of the $486 billion, 89% was ordered via desktop websites, mobile apps and aggregator apps, the report found. Additionally, 61% of digital food orders in 2020 was spent at restaurants that had only offered dine-in service before the pandemic.

The report also found that consumers spent 50% more on average when they placed orders online for takeout from restaurants. 

Independent grocery stores need not worry as consumer want fresh food fast.  Kroger, Walmart, and Albertsons / Safeway all continue to try to make grocerant niche fresh food into a CPG product.  Those big companies are equipping themselves with technology like Albertsons that will make the shopping experience for their customers much faster and user-friendly.  That in no way trumps fresh food fast, make and sell fresh food package it as a meal or in meal components and you can win. 

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

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