Ahold Delhaize: four online and digital innovations

Date : 18 December 2017

We bring you four innovations from Ahold Delhaize as Albert Heijn pilots cashless shopping and trials the Rappie app in the Netherlands. Meanwhile in the US, Peapod has introduced a text to order platform and has launched its own Alexa skill.

1. AH to go pilots cashless shopping

In the Netherlands, AH to go is piloting cashless shopping, through the retailer's ‘tap to go’ platform. The pilot is currently available at the store at the retailer’s head office in Zaandam.

How does it work?

Shoppers can register to use the service through a dedicated app. In-store, electronic shelf labels can be scanned to purchase using a special card. If users change their mind, they can return the product by returning it to the shelf. Having purchased items in this way and left the store, money is then deducted from the user’s account within the minutes.

Future developments will include the ability to scan items with smartphones, while the pilot may be extended to other stores by the end of Q2 next year.

Watch a video of how the service works below:

Source: AH to go, Jan-Willem Dockheer, LinkedIn

2. Albert Heijn trials Rappie app in Rotterdam

Elsewhere in the country, Albert Heijn has introduced a new app, 'Rappie'. The app, which is currently being piloted in four stores in Rotterdam allows shoppers to 'decide last minute, location-independent what they want to eat or drink and have this delivered immediately'.

Source: Albert Heijn

Commenting on the development, Saska Egas Reparaz, Director of Marketing & Format at Albert Heijn said, 'Time is an important factor for many of our customers and we try to unburden by offering convenience and flexibility'

A press release from the retailer said functionality included capability where:

  • 'Products can be added to the shopping basket with just one click on the product.
  • Products can be added directly to the basket from the search function.
  • Payment of groceries is possible from a so-called 'shopping credit'.
  • Payments with iDEAL is also possible'.

How are deliveries fulfilled?

A press release from Albert Heijn stated that it is partnering with Superbuddy.nl, 'an online delivery service that is already delivering home-delivered groceries in Zwolle and Utrecht within two hours'.

Users place their order through the Rappie app, or through ah.nl/rappie. a Superbuddy colleague completes the shopping in an Albert Heijn store and delivers 'groceries by cargo bike where and when the customer wishes'.

This follows the latest in a series of online innovations from Albert Heijn, including the trial of delivery within 15 minutes in Amsterdam. IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can find out more in our exclusive coverage of the Albert Heijn 15 minute delivery here.

3. Peapod introduces text to order platform

Elsewhere, within the wider Ahold Delhaize business, Peapod has introduced the first ever text to order platform in the USA. This has been done by integrating technology from StorePower, 'a leading creator of online shopping tools, as a first mover in the space to implement its patented Chat-to-Cart platform'.

The service is free and can be used by texting '1-833-TXT-PPOD'. To order products, users text products by name or emoji. They can also share lists 'across multiple family members for an all-inclusive weekly shop and even synched up with voice activated assistants for voice-to-text convenience'. Users can then click a link to edit or checkout.

Commenting on the development, Cat De Merode, Peapod's Vice President of Product said, 'At Peapod, we have always been committed to being the ultimate convenience for our customers ... "The Chat-to-Cart" platform was designed for the busy shopper that relies on their mobile device whether at home or on-the-go. Now, instead of texting a family member to pick up an extra gallon of milk, you can text Peapod and let us do the work'.

4. Peapod launches Alexa skill

This development follows Peapod's launch of a dedicated Alexa skill, 'Ask Peapod', enabling hands-free voice ordering. Those with an Alexa-enabled device can use the skill, with Peapod's entire range available for ordering. The skill allows users to add and remove items to and from their basket, while Alexa can also reorder a customer's previous orders.

On the introduction, Cat de Merode said, 'The beauty of online grocery shopping is that you can add to your order throughout the week and at the very moment you remember that you need something ... At Peapod, we love new technologies, particularly when they fit so naturally into household planning. Knowing that 51% of Amazon Echo users have their devices in the kitchen, launching 'Ask peapod' on Alexa was a natural innovation for Peapod as we continue to create real meal solutions that fit into normal at-home behaviours'.

IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can find out how Amazon's Alexa is driving conversational commerce in our exclusive insight presentation.


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