This report showcases the top 17 ‘Transformative Technology’ case studies that we have spotted within the food and CPG industry in quarter one of 2019.

In this report we review how the food and grocery industry is embracing immersive Virtual Reality (VR) to improve and enhance the industry.  

Vending solutions are one way that retailers and brands can ensure shoppers can get their products 24 hours / 7 days a week.

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John Lewis & Partners has announced it will trial a click and collect service in a number of Co-op food stores.

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Google has unveiled a new tool known as Grow My Store to support retailers with improving their customers’ online and omnichannel experiences.

Testing against 22 metrics

The new Grow My Store tool gives retailers a rating of their website, while generating reports with recommendations on how to improve their customers’ online experience. The site is initially being rolled out in English, French and Spanish speaking countries, with further European expansion plans in 2019. Recommendations for retailers are based on country-level research, and are therefore specific to retailers’ own markets.

Retailers are testing against up to 22 metrics with Grow My Store. The metrics are based on studies into customer experience best practice. Google created the tool in response to consumers increasingly demanding more information and services expected from retailers online.

Fionnuala Meehan, VP EMEA, Google Customer Solutions, said: “For retailers of all sizes, their website is their digital flagship store, so Google wants to help retailers to make their online and omnichannel customer experience as appealing as possible to customers. That’s why we have built a tool that brings together all this valuable insight into one place and then uses that insight to create bespoke recommendations for retailers providing clear support and advice”.

Developing retailer partnerships

Recently, we have seen Google getting closer to retailers through a number of partnerships, and acting as an advisor in these relationships. In 2018, Google signed a strategic partnership with Carrefour in France that focused on the availability of Carrefour on Google’s shopping website and Google Assistant in France, creation of a Carrefour-Google innovation lab, and digitisation acceleration of the Carrefour Group. The partnership sees Carrefour’s position in the digital channel strengthen as well as a offering a better shopping experience for customers. Google has also partnered with Walmart on voice ordering through Google Assistant for its online grocery service.

Google launched a new shopping programme in 2018 in the US, allowing customers to shop products using a universal Google cart. Shopping Actions enables consumers to buy items from search results instantly. Retailers that partner with the programme have the opportunity to increase shopper loyalty by supporting initiatives such as one-click re-ordering and personalised recommendations. In exchange for Google listings, retailers will pay a percentage of each purchase to the company. A number of companies, including Target, Walmart and Costco signed up to the programme.

While partnering with Google offers retailers greater visibility and improves the shopping experience, for Google, its retailer partnerships help it to win consumer product searches against competitor companies, including Amazon.

Deliveroo has announced that online retailer Amazon is the biggest investor in its latest $575m funding round.

Growing the Deliveroo business

Food courier service Deliveroo operates in over 500 towns and cities across 14 markets. In the UK, the company delivers throughout 100 towns and cities, partnering with over 8,000 restaurants to deliver food to customers ordered on the website or Deliveroo app.

With the latest funding round, the total Deliveroo has raised to date equals $1.5bn. The company said the new investment will contribute to expanding its London based engineering team, reaching new customers through international expansion of its delivery reach, and new innovations in the food sector. These innovations include rolling out its “Editions”, delivery-only dark kitchens that hold a range of collections from a number of restaurants. The investment will also be used to develop new products for a more personalised experience, raise support for restaurant partners, and develop new tools to benefit Deliveroo workers.

Will Schu, founder and CEO of Deliveroo, commented: "This new investment will help Deliveroo to grow and to offer customers even more choice, tailored to their personal tastes, offer restaurants greater opportunities to grow and expand their businesses, and to create more flexible, well-paid work for riders. Amazon has been an inspiration to me personally and to the company, and we look forward to working with such a customer-obsessed organisation”.

A growing market

Through this investment, Amazon is re-entering the competitive and growing meals delivery market in a densely populated city, following the closing down of its Amazon Restaurants UK service after two years. The ‘last mile’ has become an increasingly competitive place with clear demand in highly convenient services of this nature, and it’s a strategy that international competitors have taken. For example, in China, Alibaba acquired on-demand food delivery platform and integrated it with service guide platform Koubei in 2018 to provide local services.

Where next?

Shoppers’ expectations are continuously increasing when it comes to getting the goods they want in a quick and easy way. We expect to see more competition amongst retailers to get goods to shoppers in more innovative and creative ways. Last week we reported how Ocado is investing in a robot chef start-up to develop its rapid delivery Zoon business. In terms of Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo, we might see Amazon Prime Now dark stores in the same warehouse as Deliveroo’s dark kitchens, offering a convenient solution for shoppers to order their dinner for tonight whilst stocking up the cupboards at the same time.

Want to know more?

We look at Amazon's strategy, its results and the opportunities for manufacturers in our Strategic outlook for Amazon report here.

In our Rapid delivery opportunity report, we explore how shoppers are using online rapid delivery and how manufacturers from across the world, can meet the opportunity.

IGD Live 2019

6-7 November, London

Patrick Pondaven, Director UK Consumables at Amazon and Lila Benatoff, Director of Global Partnerships at Deliveroo are presenting at IGD Live on 7th November. Book tickets at the link below.

  Find out more »


Waitrose & Partners is extending its in-home unattended delivery service, While You’re Away, following a successful initial trial.

Successful pilot

In October 2018, Waitrose became the first UK retailer to deliver groceries through in-home unattended delivery. The retailer’s While You’re Away service was initially trialled with 100 customers located within the delivery area of its dotcom fulfilment centre in Coulsdon, South London. Due to positive customer feedback, Waitrose is extending the current trial to 1,000 customers.

The shopper can grant access to the delivery driver using Yale smart lock technology, by setting a temporary access code for the lock, which is then sent to Waitrose via a secure app. The driver receives this code at the time the customer has booked the delivery and is deleted once complete.

Increase in unattended in-home delivery

Shoppers’ expectations are continuously increasing when it comes to getting the goods they want in a quick, and convenient way. During 2018, we saw numerous leading global retailers trialling unattended in-home delivery services. Along with Waitrose, Edeka, Albert Heijn, Walmart, Amazon, and ICA have all trialled delivery this way in their respective markets.

IGD’s ShopperVista research tells us that in-home unattended deliveries appeal to 1-in-5 British online shoppers, rising significantly among younger shoppers who are more comfortable with the security of this technology. There is a significant amount of trust required on the behalf of the shopper to sign up to such trials. If retailers are able to deliver the goods, shoppers are likely to build more loyalty with a retailer as trust and the convenience of the service builds.

Want to know more?

We present seven case studies from around the world of retailers that are driving forward with unattended in-home delivery in our Retail Analysis report here.

Find out how online shoppers want their groceries delivered in our The last mile – what do shoppers want? report on our ShopperVista service.

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