Netherlands in focus

Date : 15 September 2017

We round up the latest news from the Netherlands as Albert Heijn innovates in online and business to business channels, Jumbo upgrades its mobile app and promotes sustainability, while PLUS unveils its fifth remodelled store.

Albert Heijn adds ‘intelligent shopping lists’ for loyal online shoppers…

Following successful trials, Albert Heijn has enhanced its online grocery service with new functionality to make online shopping more personalised. This uses machine learning, considering what shoppers buy and the frequency of doing so.

A press release from the retailer explained that an average online order contains 70 products, with the new functionality offering added convenience. Albert Heijn is now inviting its 65,000 loyalty card holders to use this facility.

…As it continues to innovate with Facebook Messenger

In other news, the retailer is using Facebook Messenger to provide shoppers with meal for tonight inspiration. It is using its Allerhande chatbot on Facebook Messenger to provide shoppers with daily recipes to anyone who wants them. Albert Heijn’s press release cited the popularity of chatbots, with 25% of Americans using chatbots daily, with the figure rising to over 40% for millenials.

Users can also search for recipes and get cooking inspiration from Allerhande experts, while they ‘can also challenge the chatbot by sending a food emoji’ and then receive recipes containing that ingredient.


Source: Albert Heijn

This development builds on the retailer's previous activity on Facebook. Earlier this year, Albert Heijn launched a Facebook Messenger service, AH Vegetable Boost, to inspire people to eat more vegetables.

IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can read more about this and how other retailers are using technology to drive the health and wellness agenda in Europe here.

Albert Heijn and Bidfood serve care homes

Meanwhile, the Albert Heijn and Bidfood (formerly Deli XL) to sell groceries online to care homes.

Commenting on the announcement, Selma Postma, responsible for e-commerce at Albert Heijn said, 'Many healthcare organizations need a supplier who serves their professional cuisine. At the same time, we see a growing need for a good foundation for small-scale living'.

Albert Heijn is increasingly targeting the business to business opportunity. It previously launched a new range of 250 bulk buy products for business customers.

Jumbo introduces voice controlled shopping lists...

Elsewhere in the market, Jumbo has upgraded its mobile app, adding new functionality that allows shoppers to use their voice to add to their shopping list. Users will only need to do is open the Jumbo app and start talking: “apples, cheese, red wine, spaghetti”'.  This is initially only available through iOS, while it will be available on Android in the future.

Roy van Keulen, Director of Online said, ‘At the end of September, a pilot will launch the voting function, which we release for a thousand users. This gives us better insight into the use of the customer and how we can respond to it. Possibly we will add features, because the shopping list is just the beginning’.

Jumbo’s app already allows shoppers to scan items in the home to add to their shopping basket, while the new voice controlled functionality makes shopping even more convenient.

As we live in an increasingly 'on-demand' and connected world where consumers expect a frictionless shopping experience, expect innovation in this area to continue. IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can learn more about how Amazon is using Alexa to create a 'speak easy' shopping experience by clicking here.

...As it promotes sustainable shopping

In other news,  Jumbo is promoting sustainability in-store this autumn. Over 100 products will available in-store, with a special card, making ‘it easy for customers to choose a more sustainable alternative’.

Commenting on the initiative, Colette Cloosertman-van Eerd, Member of the Board of Directors and CCO of Jumbo Supermarkets said, ‘As a major supermarket chain we take our social responsibility...Together with all our employees, entrepreneurs, customers, suppliers and chain partners, we are bullding our sustainable principles as a starting point’.

PLUS opens fifth Brilliant 2.0 remodelled store

Meanwhile, competitor PLUS has launched its fifth store that has been converted to the Brilliant 2.0 formula in Best, southern Netherlands. The store has a focus on fresh and local products, as well as meal for tonight inspiration. Other stores that have been converted include PLUS Koot in Abcoude, PLUS J. Schimmel Panoven in Ijsselstein, PLUS Rechtuyt in Schoonhoven and PLUS Verhoeven in Rotterdam.

Ton Henst of PLUS said, ‘With the new formula, our store meets the changing needs of consumers … We see that consumer needs change in Best. Many families now have older or adult children and one is bus with sports, study and work. However, the consumer is also getting more attention to good food – pure, fresh and preferably out of the ordinary. Our renewed supermarket has everything in the house for a quick, easy meal that is fresh and nutritious. Good an healthy food remains important, and that can be easier now’.