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Kroger is introducing a new direct to customer ecommerce platform, building on its current online and digital offer.

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Kroger is introducing a new app called OptUP, which will help shoppers to make healthier, more informed decisions.

Holistic health approach

Using data from 84.51º, Kroger has designed a transformational app which will make it easier for customers to access nutritional information and be able to find and purchase products which are better for their health. It will allow items to be scanned and searched, providing nutritional facts and a score, worked out using nationally recognised dietary guidelines and input from Kroger's dieticians. It will also suggest alternative, healthier products. Shoppers will be able to add options to their digital carts for pick up or home delivery.

Increasing personalisation

Through the app, shoppers will also receive personalised product recommendations and will be able to view and track their household score. This score is calculated based on their purchasing history. Each product is scored between 1-100, with a green rating for a score of 71+. This is for products which are lower in saturated fat, sodium, sugar and calories and may be higher in fibre, protein and fruit/vegetable content. There is also a yellow rating for products scoring between 36-70 and red for 1-35. Kroger's dieticians recommend a cart mix of at least 50% green products.

Embedding Restock Kroger

One of the key strategic pillars of Kroger's plan is redefining the shopping experience and this latest innovation helps to move this on a step. With a strong focus on health across the US grocery market, Kroger is continually introducing new ways to help shoppers incorporate health into their everyday lives and shopping habits. This new app increases transparency of the health attributes of products, as well as being educational. More features and greater personalisation are planned for the future as Kroger looks to tailor its offer to the specific health needs and preferences of each shopper.

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Following an initial announcement in 2017, Kroger has confirmed it will launch its new clothing range this fall. The range will be called Dip and will initially be introduced into 300 Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace stores.

Developing a modern offer

Kroger has worked with global fashion designer, Joe Mimran, to design a modern, affordable and fun clothing range. The concept aims to provide shoppers with a convenient and easy to shop range, which fits into their busy lifestyles. The Dip range will include clothes for men, women, juniors, kids and babies and is built up from flexible collections and seasonal pieces, making it quick and simple to buy complete outfits for the whole family. The name Dip has been chosen due to Kroger's strong food heritage and the fun, easy energy of the clothes. Dip signifies the simplicity and ease with which customers will be able to pop in and pick up what they need, alongside their usual grocery shop.

Source: Kroger

Bringing in expertise

Global designer Joe Mimran has previously been involved with launching successful ranges including Club Monaco and Pink Tartan, as well as the Joe Fresh line for Loblaw. The popularity of the Joe Fresh brand led to standalone stores being opened in Canada and Kroger hopes to bring some of this success to its own range. With over 30 years of expertise in the fashion industry, their choice of partner demonstrates Kroger's commitment to creating an innovative and appealing new range. The range will replace a number of Kroger's current private label clothing brands, creating an easily identifiable brand associated exclusively with Kroger.

Building on the success of Restock Kroger

As part of its Restock Kroger plan, the retailer is continuing to explore new ways of redefining the customer experience. This new clothing line helps to build on the initiatives already launched, including its private label meal kit range, Prep + Pared, new restaurant concept Kitchen 1883 and a variety of ecommerce services. Together, these new introductions are helping to inspire shoppers and increase engagement with the Kroger brand, building loyalty over time.

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To increase the convenience of grocery home delivery, Kroger will be piloting autonomous delivery vehicles.

Partnership with Nuro

Kroger will partner with Nuro, a company that makes fully unmanned vehicles, to trial the delivery initiative. Customers will be able to place orders for same day delivery, through ClickList or through a Nuro app. The first trial is expected to happen later this year, but the pilot market has not yet been announced. The fully electric vehicles have locking compartments and shoppers will receive a code to unlock it when they place their order.

The small vehicles weigh around 1,500 pounds and have cameras and sensors to allow them to drive autonomously. It aims to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of the online grocery delivery process, making it more accessible and affordable for customers. Last mile delivery is often the highest area of cost in online services; improving cost efficiencies in this area could provide significant operational savings for Kroger, helping it to increase its competitiveness in the online channel.

Source: Kroger

Local ecommerce

Operating over 2,800 stores across 35 states creates a challenge for Kroger when designing home delivery solutions. This innovative partnership looks to help address this, creating a solution which would be relatively easy to roll out to multiple areas. Its Restock Kroger plan is focused on redefining the grocery experience for customers and increasing the ease of omni-channel shopping is one of the key ways in which it is striving to achieve this.

It also follows on from Kroger's recent announcement that it would partner with UK online grocery specialist, Ocado, where it will be able to access Ocado's technology, including robotics. Building its capabilities in a number of areas should help Kroger to address its aim of providing a seamless shopping experience for customers. 

New digital headquarters

Kroger has also announced that it will open a new digital HQ in Cincinnati, as it continues to expand its online operations. It wants to grow the office to 1,000 employees over the next three years, with some jobs initially moving from its current offices to the new HQ from July. This latest move is another indication of the commitment that Kroger has to increasing its digital focus and capabilities. With Q1 digital sales up 66% and coverage of its online services now reaching 75% of its shoppers, Kroger is continuing to successfully build on the foundations it has steadily been putting in place.

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