Kroger will launch its online marketplace this fall, introducing thousands of new products to customers in multiple categories through third-party vendors.
The grocery retailer is partnering with online commerce specialist Mirakl to expand its Kroger Ship platform launched in August 2018, to offer customers an extended aisle of products made available through marketplace partners, the companies said in a statement.
According to Bloomberg, the largest U.S. operator of grocery stores wants to take part of the web sales away from Amazon and Walmart.
Initially, more than 50,000 additional items will be available to customers across multiple categories in the online marketplace, including natural and organic, international food, specialty items, housewares, and toys.
“Our customers are increasingly turning to our e-commerce solutions provided at Kroger.com for their grocery and household essential needs. To better serve our customers, we’re continuing to invest in technology that enables us to expand our digital services to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere,” said Jody Kalmbach, Kroger’s group vice president of product experience. “Leveraging Mirakl’s best-in-class marketplace solution, we are broadening Kroger’s ship-to-home capabilities by offering more relevant products for our customers through exciting new partnerships with reputable third-party sellers.”
Kroger’s marketplace products are expected to launch this fall. Eligible Kroger.com orders earn loyalty rewards like fuel points, said the grocery retailer.
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“Kroger has long been a retail giant, and by integrating an online marketplace into its leading eCommerce experience, Kroger is continuing to lead from the front,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO and Co-founder of Mirakl. “It’s clearer than ever that digital marketplaces are the foundation of the next generation of commerce, and we look forward to supporting Kroger as it takes advantage of this opportunity.”
According to Maya Pattison, VP, Corporate Marketing at Mirakl, by expanding the Kroger Ship assortment at scale, the marketplace also paves the way for Kroger to gain more share of wallet from its customers – something that every retailer strives to achieve.
“As part of our continuing transformation, we look forward to accelerating the development of our e-commerce platform and providing our customers with even more choices,” said Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief merchant and marketing officer.
Kroger’s strategic investments in e-commerce technology and channels over the past two and half years under Restock Kroger have positioned the company to more effectively respond to the sustained, increased demand for delivery, pickup and ship-to-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Kroger’s first-quarter 2020 results, its digital sales grew 92 percent. In June, U.S. online grocery sales hit a record of $7.2 billion, with 45.6 million households turning to online grocery pickup and delivery options. Less than a year ago, only 16.1 million U.S. households were using online grocery, totaling then just $1.2 billion in sales.