Albertsons updated its ecommerce platform to provide shoppers with the real-time status of grocery deliveries and pick-up orders through a partnership with location-sharing firm Glympse. Customers can opt in to receive text or email notifications with key updates about the fulfillment of their orders, including a link to a live map that shows the delivery truck and exact time of delivery, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
The service is available for delivery orders at Albertsons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Pavilions stores — but not on orders fulfilled by Instacart. Albertsons offers grocery delivery in 11 of the top 15 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the United States with more than 1,000 delivery trucks from about 2,000 stores.
Albertsons this spring plans to pilot an opt-in notification service in select markets where it offers Drive Up & Go, letting shoppers pick up their digital orders without stepping out of a car. The stores will notify customers when their orders are ready and track their locations to anticipate their arrival times at stores.
Albertsons’ latest updates to its ecommerce platform provide an extra convenience to shoppers who are seeking to save time and avoid the hassle of grocery shopping. Among the 33% of U.S. shoppers who have bought food or beverages online, almost half (47%) cited convenience as the main reason. Additional reasons included the options available (23%), cost (18%) and a preference for digital shopping (2%), per a study by market research firm Morning Consult. Meanwhile, the top reason to avoid online shopping among the 65% of people who haven’t ordered food and beverages online is that they prefer to do so in person, per the study. By offering greater convenience and transparency, Albertsons could be looking to convert some of these shoppers into digital customers.
Albertsons is among the grocery companies that face a growing threat from Amazon, whose acquisition of Whole Foods Market expanded the e-commerce giant’s footprint in the industry. Amazon also has been piloting cashless Amazon Go stores that require shoppers to download a special mobile app to gain entry and check out without help from a live cashier. Amazon Go may grow into a $4.5 billion-a-year business by 2021, per one estimate. However, Amazon Go faces a threat from major municipalities like Philadelphia that this month banned cashless stores for discriminating against lower-income people who don’t have a bank account or credit card to make payments.
Albertsons is among the grocers that are adding mobile technologies to the shopping experience. Kroger last month introduced Kroger Pay, a mobile payment program that combines shoppers’ payment information with loyalty cards and promotions, including digital coupons and personalized offers. Walmart last year added an augmented reality (AR) feature to its iPhone app that lets shoppers scan price tags with the smartphone's camera to see on-screen product comparisons, prices and customer ratings. The company’s Sam's Club chain plans to test new, faster Scan & Go mobile checkout technology in its Sam's Club Now cashierless store in Dallas this spring.