More than two-and-a-half years after the start of the pandemic, consumers continue to alter their shopping habits and retailers such as The Kroger Co. work to adapt to these ever evolving needs.
During a presentation at Groceryshop 2022 in Las Vegas, Yael Cosset, chief information officer and SVP at Kroger, said the grocer knows that its customers have different needs, but the challenge is identifying the “what, when and how.”
“Our seamless ecosystem brings all of these factors together, without asking the customer to compromise on quality, value or convenience,” he said. “Whether our customers shop for a last-minute dinner, their weekly shop, or the freshest ingredients at the right price, we provide relevant and personalized experience.
Cosset revealed a shift in customer behavior as they move away from shopping habits established during the pandemic. Data shows customers navigating comfortably among delivery and pickup to in-store trips, shopping to meet the needs of their day.
He explained that Kroger seeks to make the transition from each option as seamless as possible to help ensure convenience of choice and relevance along with Kroger’s promise of the freshest products at a value.
In that context, he further discussed the importance to not pass on the complexity of building a sustainable model to the customer. Kroger is optimizing its seamless ecosystem, with stores and dedicated fulfillment facilities, bringing value without asking customers to compromise on the experience, he said.
Cosset views the seamless digital ecosystem as critical to customer satisfaction, combining the proximity of their stores for immediate delivery in as little as 30 minutes and the reliability and efficiency of its dedicated facilities, each contributing to the Kroger seamless experience.
He noted that customer reaction to Boost by Kroger, the latest addition to the grocer’s loyalty platform, has been overwhelmingly positive. This paid membership program can save customers more than $1,000 per year on fuel and grocery delivery. The one-of-a-kind membership and the expansion of the Kroger Delivery Network contributed to growing digital sales in the second quarter.
He also sees the food-at-home trend persisting with the continued desire to share cooking skills learned during the pandemic and make meals at home during the inflationary environment. Cosset said customers are making memorable meal experiences engaging with Kroger’s Our Brands products, choosing to make a Murray’s Cheese board and have a nice bottle of wine as a special treat whether they shop in stores, utilize pickup or delivery, or take advantage of personalized experience and digital offers.
Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.