The company, which works with Shaw’s, Roche Bros., and Harris Teeter, has unveiled the next generation of its Digital Experience Platform (DEP) which it claims will help grocers and CPG manufacturers navigate the digital disruption in grocery, looking at every aspect from shopper interaction to e-commerce transactions and customer retention.
Plans to expand into South America & Europe
Tim Kenney, president, MyWebGrocer, told FoodProductionDaily, it recently expanded its team, and has several strategic hires in the works with plans to expand outside of North America into South America and Europe.
“This is a challenging time for the grocery industry, and one of the difficulties we face is how to help grocers sort through the confusion and misconceptions that currently exist about e-commerce and digital,” he said.
“Many fear e-commerce is not profitable in this industry, and grocers are receiving a deluge of information and statistics, which often contradict each other, from industry analysts and technology vendors.
“For example, it’s often touted that e-commerce only accounts for 1% of all grocery sales in the US. While that might be true, this is an issue of availability, not consumer interest. Those grocers who have actually implemented e-commerce have seen this division of their organization grow over 20% in one year.”
A recent report by Nielsen entitled: “The Future of Grocery” found one-quarter of shoppers surveyed say they order grocery products online, and more than half (55%) are willing to do so in the future.
Digital is growing fast
Kenney added, grocers know digital is growing fast, and it will be a necessity in the future to satisfy the ever more demanding customer.
“The challenge is getting them to recognize that embracing digital implementation isn’t just something they “have” to do,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity to grow their businesses. The key to addressing this challenge is for grocers to build their digital presence incrementally. Once they start seeing a return on investment from those early initiatives, they can proceed into more advanced digital offerings like click-and-collect e-commerce.”
According to Kenney, e-commerce is going to become an important part of the grocery industry over the next five years.
Business Insider predicted from 2013 to 2018, online groceries would grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21.1%, reaching nearly $18 billion. By comparison, offline sales are only expected to rise by 3.1% annually during the same period.
“Right now, we’re excited about South America,” said Kenney.
“We believe digital grocery is a worldwide phenomenon, and it’s not limited to any particular region. For example, India is one of the fastest growing markets for online grocery, and the industry is expected to be worth billions in the coming years."
“We already work with a number of customers in South America, Asia and Europe, and it’s definitely in our plans to continue to grow in emerging markets.”