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By: Label Insight Team on November 21st, 2018

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This month in E-comm & Omnichannel (November, 2018)

industry news  |  E-commerce  |  omnichannel  |  this month in

A lot of interesting news coming out in November around E-commerce and Omnichannel.  We've worked to curate and summarize the following important news events to help you to keep on top of what's going on in this space.

 

Market dynamics:

The market continues to evolve with growth in e-commerce being represented across the market in actual results as well as continued investment in e-commerce and omnichannel infrastructure.

 

Retaildive.com: Walmart e-commerce sales soar 43%
Walmart released their Q3 results with impressive growth across the board, but of particular interest for us is the considerable growth in e-commerce. "Q3's impressive performance continues to validate Walmart's long-term investment strategy, with solid revenue and operating margin growth, as well as online sales growth of 43% continuing to exceed the company's stated goal for 2018,"

 

Progressivegrocer.com: Grocerys directive - onmichannel or bust
Coming out of the hugely successful Grocerhop event, this post highlights some of the key takeaways. Understanding your market is key to creating an experience that draws people to your stores. “Grocery has a built-in opportunity to be multi-sensory,” said Vicki Eikelberger, SVP and managing director of multidimensional brand experience firm Big Red RoosterTo create a rich shopper experience, Chicago-area grocery chain Mariano’s Fresh Market, part of The Kroger Co.’s Roundy’s subsidiary, hires its associated from foodservice, hospitality, healthcare and academia, explained Don Fitzgerald, the retailer’s group VP of merchandising and marketing.
Supermarketnews.com: Retailer jostle to lead online grocery
Amazon’s pricing edge in online grocery is narrowing as Walmart and subsidiary Jet.com have closed the gap.
E-commerce analyst Profitero, in its latest “Price Wars” report, found Jet.com and Walmart the lowest in price relative to Amazon in online grocery. The study had Jet at a price index of just 0.6% higher than Amazon, while Walmart was 2.5% higher.

 

International:

Increasingly we're seeing implementations internationally leading the way in regards to the future of e-commerce and omnichannel.  The article below is a great deep dive in to some of the exciting things going on in China.  Definitely worth keeping an eye on these developments as a way to look at the future of e-commerce from a completely different perspective.

 

Forbes.com: The future of e-commerce and retail will be written in china
Alibaba’s high-tech food/grocery retail store concept, known as Hema, is expanding quickly. These outlets serve as walk-in restaurants, food and grocery purchase points, and warehouses for online delivery (within 30 minutes in a three-kilometer radius) – all at the same time. There are now 64 Hema stores in operation, with two being added each week. Already, Hema stores in operation for over 18 months are reporting revenues of RMB50k per square meter, up to five times what traditional offline stores can generate. Sixty percent of Hema’s sales are through the online delivery channel, making the stores far more productive, for far more hours of the day, than pure offline stores.

 

User Experience:

We have made the argument several times that we believe that the future of e-commerce and omnichannel will depend on the evolution of the user experience (UX).  In November 2018 there was a lot of news related to UX evolution.

 

Winsightgrocerybusiness.com: Target bests Walmart and Kroger in seamless shopping experience study
In an evaluation of how well three leading national retailers deliver a seamless grocery shopping experience, Barrington, Ill.-based Brick Meets Click found Target beating out both Walmart’s and Kroger’s respective omnichannel platforms.

 

Supplychainbrain.com: Amazon's latest crusade in the grocery delivery wars - thanksgiving dinner 
Online sales of food, beverages, soap, shampoo, pet food and other items routinely sold in supermarkets will reach $177bn in 2022, doubling this year’s $88bn, according to Cowen & Co. That will make online grocery a bigger market than electronics and toys combined.
Progressivegrocer.com: Kroger launches voice assistant ordering grocery e-commerce
The Kroger Co. is furthering its efforts in contextual commerce by adopting voice-assistant technology for ordering groceries online. Customers can interact with their Kroger Grocery Pickup cart via an action in the Google Assistant voice app – which can be accessed through iOS, Android and Google Assistant devices, Kroger Technology announced on its LinkedIn page.Activating the service is as simple as saying "Hey, Google" into the device.
Supermarketnews.com: Customers were top of mind in Raley's redesigned website
Raley’s has revamped its website with a new look and more personalization to provide an enhanced customer experience.
“We understand that customers’ needs are changing whether shopping online or in-store,” Mike Molitor, vice president of e-commerce and loyalty at Raley’s, said in a statement. “Our goal is to make it easier and more compelling for customers to interact with online shopping and our savings program, Something Extra.”

 

Automated Fulfillment - Robots and Automation: 

A hot topic at the moment are the movements around automated fulfillment as a way to solve logistics challenges and essentially viability of investments in e-commerce.  
 
Designnews.com: Next year let robots do your thanksgiving shopping
Takeoff is partnering with a number of supermarkets to launch the robotic picking of groceries. Albertsons is in the pilot phase of the micro-fulfillment center concept using Takeoff’s artificial intelligence capabilities to pick and pack groceries with an automated system. The pilot makes Albertsons the first national grocer to implement an automated eCommerce fulfillment solution. Albertsons expects to begin testing the robots with customers in 2019.
DCvelocity.com: Kroger picks cincinnati for first grovery e-commerce
Grocery shoppers in Cincinnati will soon be able to order their fruits and veggies online, thanks to a highly automated warehouse planned by supermarket chain the Kroger Co. and its automation partner, Ocado Group plc, the firms said today.Cincinnati-based Kroger announced last month that it had agreed to order three of those customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) by the end of 2018 and a total of 20 CFCs over the first three years of the partnership.
 

Opinion: 

Forbes.com: Needing to touch and feel groceries is like believing the earth is flat
"A note of caution for those who attribute our low online grocery figures to consumers’ desire to touch and feel products before buying. That argument has been made by skeptics many times before – think clothing, footwear, beauty or mattresses. E-commerce, however, grows quickly as the breadth and simplicity of offerings rises. When digital ordering, pickup and delivery become easy and affordable, consumers migrate to these options. Convenience is an incredibly powerful motivator, no matter what the category." Zia Daniell Wigder, Groceryshop 2018
 
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